Bella and Monty: A Hairy Scary Night

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Author: Alex T.Smith

Illustrator: Alex T.Smith

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books

How this book might help: May comfort a child who is anxious about the dark, spiders, ghosts or monsters, and make them realise they are not alone.

Bella Bones and Monty Mittens are best friends and have lots in common (they both like the colour orange and slurping spaghetti, and both have the same-sized feet). But Bella isn't frightened of anything and Monty is frightened of everything, especially the dark. He imagines that there are lots of scary things lurking in the gloom: ghosts, spiders, crocodiles and monsters. When the two friends have a sleepover, Monty is really scared of the dark in their den. Bella reassures him by explaining that it has to be dark so the Moon can take over while the tired Sun has a snooze. The friends tuck the snoozing Sun into her bed. When Monty complains about the terrifying ghosts that 'woooooo' at him at night, she explains that they're only doing their homework for Ghoul School. They bravely visit the school and help the ghosts and monsters there, and realise it wasn't at all scary after all. Monty then spots a spider who he thinks is about to gobble him up, but again Bella comes to the rescue. She explains that they are too small to eat you, and everyone knows they prefer takeaway food. The friends help the spider family to carry their meal home. Despite the fact that Bella and Monty have to walk home through a dark forest filled with bats, Monty isn't frightened any more. Tucked up in bed, Monty manages to frighten the seemingly unshakeable Bella by popping a huge balloon!

Things we liked about this book: Beautiful vibrant illustrations. Alex T.Smith has succeeded in creating non-threatening ghouls, skeletons, spiders and other beasts!

Age Range: 2+

Tags: anxiety, emotions, fear of the dark, fears, friends, ghosts, monsters, phobias

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