Shadows on My Wall
Written and Illustrated by Timothy Young
Shadows On my Walls is a tale told blue: blue illustrations, the blue of bedtime fears and the dark blue-black night.
Bedtime can be scary. It’s dark outside, the lights are off and the room seems large and full of monsters. Timothy Young, author and illustrator, remembers those childhood fears and recreates them in this gentle story of a young boy and the shadows on his wall.
“The street lights make shadows on my wall,” he says, and the monstrous shadows scare him. The shadows make different shapes, or rather, as any second grade reader will recognize, the young boy imagines different things, scary and monstrous things. But one day the shadows look like dinosaurs, and he is less scared.
And soon, instead of hiding under the bed he interacts with them. He makes a baby dragon friend for the large dragon that appears on the wall. He puts on a cape and scares away the angry robot, and wriggles with the aliens. Now, when scary things appear, they are not scary any more. “I change them into fun things to play with,” he says.
What a comforting story for the young reader. Monsters are not real after all. You can befriend them and have a jolly good time. The book ends with illustrations showing how to make your own wall shadows, which can be an interesting reading activity in the classroom.
The use of just two colors — blue for the night and yellow street light creeping in — makes for a wonderfully soothing reading experience.
How To Make A Shadow Puppet: http://video.about.com/familycrafts/How-to-Make-Shadow-Puppets.htm