SUMMARY: Harry is afraid of the cellar. He warns his mother not to go down there, but she doesn't listen. Harry waits and waits, but his mother doesn't return. In order to save his mother, he gathers his courage, and a broom, and goes down the steps to find his mother. There he encounters a scary Whatzit. Harry is frightened, but his concern for his mother overshadows the fear. He beats the Whatzit down in size until he is no longer afraid and continues his search for his mother.
ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations are beautiful in their simplicity. The colors consist of brown, orange, white and black which definitely exemplify the drawings of the time period this was written (late 1970s). The little boy is adorable, but the Whatzit is downright scary!
THE GOOD: I can't believe I never read or heard of this story as a child. It is an enjoyable read about a boy who literally conquers his fears in order to find his mother. Once he realizes there is nothing to fear, the cellar has no hold over him anymore. This book has humor in it which is fun. The story line is creative and I loved the ending.
THE NOT AS GOOD: The Whatzit is a very frightening looking creature. You can get a sense of how scary it is from the cover. I would not recommend this book for very young children who are trying to overcome fears as I think it would only add to those fears! But for slightly older children who are not too easily scared, this book still carries a good message about overcoming fears.
AGE RECOMMENDATION: Ages 6-8 (5 year old as well for the less easy to scare child)
Illustrations were creepy!
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