I'm Only Afraid of the Dark (at Night!!)


38 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88902-593-2





Reviewed by Jay MacGuire


Harold Tribune is an Arctic owl, afraid of the dark. There are a lot of good things in this book. Patti Stren’s whimsical illustrations with cartoon bubbles of dialogue are fun, the explanation of day and night at the North Pole is very clear, and the ideas suggested to overcome fear of the dark are novel and amusing. It seems odd, after the scientific explanation of Earth’s rotation, to have these Arctic owls perched in trees and hunting slugs.

If the book was written to help children who are afraid of the dark, it has a serious flaw. Most children afraid of the dark are afraid of being alone in the dark. At the end of the book, Harold feels he can manage his fear if he stays with his friend Gert. If children terrified at night had Gert with them, the problem would be over.


Stren, Patti, “I'm Only Afraid of the Dark (at Night!!),” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/38686.