Also by this author: The Friend Who Forgives: A True Story About How Peter Failed and Jesus Forgave, The Bright Light and the Super Scary Darkness, C.S. Lewis: The Writer Who Found Joy
Published by B&H Kids on October 27, 2020
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Have you ever been super scared of the dark? The Bright Light and the Super Scary Darkness uses the imagery of darkness and light to help children understand God’s power over evil. With an emphasis on Jesus, the Light of the World, this book reassures children ages 4-8 who struggle with fear and anxiety and offers them courage from God’s Word. Kids will find comfort in the book’s reassuring tone and brilliant illustrations, which show that Jesus’ love is strong enough to defeat even the super scary darkness.
The Bright Light and the Super Scary Darkness uses the imagery of darkness and light as a metaphor for the Fall and redemption. The opening panels present to your little ones what we all know: Darkness can be scary, but light dispels the darkness. Dan DeWitt shares with readers how God created the world to be light, but, with the entrance of sin, humankind descended into darkness.
The metaphor of light and dark, good and evil, is presented well in the illustrations by Rea Zhai. When the light is mentioned, the backgrounds are colorful and vibrant. When the dark is mentioned, the backgrounds are shadowy browns and muted.
The middle panels through the end take us through the story of Jesus—the light that has come into the world—his birth, his ministry, his death, his resurrection. Let me tell you a secret: the darkness is afraid of the light…Jesus is the bright light that defeats the scaredy-cat darkness.
The Bright Light and the Super Scary Darkness is fairly typical Christian children’s book. It uses the most familiar stories and images and metaphors in a simple and standard way. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before. The illustrations are fun to look at. The prose is engaging when read aloud. But nothing stands out as the obvious hook to this story.
My one criticism would be the use of the word scaredy-cat. This is pedantic, I know, but it’s name-calling. It’s not a word that fits the tone of the rest of the book. Other than that, I have no complaints, but no real adulations. The cover glows in the dark and that’s nice, I guess. I might use this book particularly if a child is scared of the dark or having some other fears regarding darkness. Honestly, if a child isn’t scared of the dark, I might be hesitant to introduce the concept that darkness can be scary to them. In the end, this is a nice book, there’s nothing wrong with it, but nothing stands out as exceptional either.