first book both written and illustrated by me, 'Small Blue and the
Deep dark Night' is about a father-daughter duo of Small Blue and
Big Brown, a rabbit and a bear. When Small Blue wakes up in the
middle of the night, she thinks of hungry things . . . and warty
things . . . and hairy things!
But the book asks if they're really as scary as they seem. With
the help and comfort of Big Brown, Small Blue slowly begins to imagine
fun things in the dark instead of scary ones, so that neither the
night nor the unknown will be scary again.
online at Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Books etc and
New York Times, 19th Oct 2014
winning approach to fear of the dark: lots of physical closeness,
a few flights of imagination, and a gentle dash of cold, hard logic."
Kirkus - June 2014
Small Blue (a little bunny) gets a bad case of the middle-of-the-night
willies, imagining what spooky creatures might lurk in the dark
corners of her home.
Big Brown!” she wails, in a shrill pitch familiar to all parents.
Small Blue’s caregiver, a lumpy, burly bear, offers reassuringly
ridiculous counterarguments to assuage the bunny’s fears.
Big Brown wonders whether those “[g]remlins and goblins, with empty,
rumbling bellies,” weren’t there at all, and instead there was ”a
delightful doggies’ Saturday-night unicycle convention” underway.
It is dark, after all.
Who can tell? Children will get the hang of Big Brown’s loopy logic
quickly. The dark could harbor “giant hairy spiders and flappy bats”
or, just as likely, host “a smiley spacemen’s zero-gravity birthday
party.” Jittery readers come to see it’s probably neither; the dark
is just that, dark, and nothing more.
Big Brown’s enveloping brawn and fantastically implausible nighttime
scenarios turn quivering fears into giggles. Mildly cartoonish artwork,
in purply-blues (lights off) and cozy yellows (lights on), offers
thick line-work and lots of rounded edges, eyes, noses and mouths,
softening Blue’s scary fantasies and rendering Brown’s imaginings
all the more comical. Add this original, illuminating book to any
stack of in-the-dark, nighty-night anxiety tales right next to the
bed, alongside that last glass of water—but leave the door open
a crack! (Picture book. 2-6)
Publisher's Weekly - May 2014
In his first outing as both author and illustrator, Davis (Stuck
with the Blooz) uses gnomish pen-and-ink drawings to conjure up
the “Gremlins and goblins, with empty, rumbling bellies, licking
their lips, waiting for me in the dark” that Small Blue, a rabbit,
feels sure are lurking in her bedroom.
Davis resists the urge to draw creatures as scary as Small Blue’s
thoughts: the imaginary goblins are small, blobby creatures with
mild expressions, clearly anxious to please.
Big Brown—who’s precisely the kind of towering, furry bear one longs
to take one’s nighttime fears to—doesn’t deny Small Blue’s worries
(“There could be...”), but suggests another way to look at things:
“How do you know it wasn’t a delightful doggies’ Saturday-night
A visit to the kitchen for warm milk develops the idea: “I can imagine
the kitchen playing host to a retired- pirates’ annual sock-knitting
Soon, Small Blue gets the hang of this kind of thinking, too.
A winsome, even poetic introduction to the idea of reasoning one’s
way through fearfulness. Ages 4–8.
Other reviews at Good Reads With Ronna Blog here,
Jen Robinson's Book Page Blog here.
Feed A Reader Blog here
Little Crooked Cottage Blog Book of the Week here