Vail, R., & Heo, Y. (ill.) (2008). Jibberwillies at night. New York: Scholastic Press. ISBN: 9780439420709
Annotation: Katie is a happy child, who loves her family and friends, but sometimes, the Jibberwillies come at night and scare her away from sleeping.
Reaction: I heard about this book when I read a School Library Journal article about censorship, in which Jibberwillies was mentioned as not being included in a library’s collection because it increases children’s fears and worries. I have this banned book loving side of me that makes me want to read any children’s or teen books surrounded by controversy. Seriously, if you want me to read something, tell me about how it was banned by someone.
So, I immediately checked this book out from the library after reading that article. Upon reading it, I discovered that far from encouraging childhood fears and worries, this book is about a happy, loving little girl who sometimes can’t sleep because the Jibberwillies come and banish all happy thoughts. And then her mom comes and saves the day by throwing the Jibberwillies out the window so Katie can “comfortable [herself] to sleep.”
I think the scenes featuring the Jibberwillies might be very scary for children, and I don’t think this is a book I would read with a large group of kids (thinking about my future preschool storytimes). I think this book would be great read with a parent and a child, so they could talk about Jibberwillies and what Parent and Child could if the Jibberwillies ever showed up at bedtime.
The illustrations are happy, full of bright colors and fun patterns, which attracts the eye and would entertain children, though the pages depicting the Jibberwillies turn the colors and patterns menacing.
Media Used: ((tk)) – I have no idea what this is but the illustrations sort of look like they’re oils or acrylics.
Illustrator’s Website: None