Wow! A young boy named Amir is afraid to go to bed. Not an auspicious start to a picture book — it is an overdone trope. But then this book takes off! Amir’s dad goes with Amir’s fears and begins to assure him that Amir is more frightening than the monster. Then as Amir escalates the story, so does dad — “I’ll come running with my frying pan, and I’ll shake it at him. That’ll do the trick” Soon mom and dad “sit down for a cup of coffee to talk things over” with Grobblechop’s mom and dad. The art by Finnish artist Jenny Lucander is fantastic. And the whole story comes from Rumi, the Sufi mystic. Brilliant, creative, touching. Don’t miss this one. One of the best folktale books of the year.
A note: although this is not an Own Voices book, it is great to see a Iranian family as the centerpiece of a book whose source is the Iranian poet, Rumi.