CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 6 . . . . October 14, 2016
Safe in a Storm, a charming picture book for young readers, highlights the feeling of safety that parents' love can bring to their frightened children. The parents in each illustration are depicted as different types of animals and their young. The words and pictures by Stephen R. Swinburne and Jennifer A. Bell work well together to create a comforting and song-like narrative for early childhood readers. Each image in the book features different animals in their distinct habitats protecting their young from frightening storms. Each illustration spans two pages which creates engaging and immersive imagery while highlighting the feeling of security in each situation. The picture book is very effective in creating a continuous feeling of safety over every page for its young audience.
Each illustration in the work shows how an animal comforts its young and keeps them from being afraid of the storm. The comforting images feature many types of animals ranging from ducks, whales, giraffes, and sheep, who all comfort their young by burrowing, nuzzling or hiding. The final image in the story of a mother dog and her puppy safe and sound asleep also brings the work to a comforting close. Very young readers will likely enjoy hearing the story read aloud and will also enjoy examining the pictures on their own. Safe in a Storm will also provide a feeling of comfort and security at bedtime. The book can also be read in the classroom where students will benefit from identifying the animals and where they live. Safe in a Storm is an endearing picture book that both children and adults will enjoy for its depictions of the warmth and safety parents can provide.
Vasso Tassiopoulos is a graduate of the Master of Arts program in Children's Literature at the University of British Columbia.
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