Tundra. Apr. 2024. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781774884287.
PreS-Gr 2–A young anthropomorphized moth narrates its journey of gathering up the courage to explore the dark on its own. The unnamed winged protagonist—with a white human head but scaled to a relative moth size with wings—has not ventured out without family, fearful of what threats the night hides. Finally, the desire to see the stars up close overrides fear, and the moth ventures out solo. Using key moth survival tactics like hiding and camouflage, the moth has a fun-filled adventure; however, not all nighttime insects are so lucky, and some friends are eaten. The moth realizes bravery is needed and a theatrical display guides everyone to safety. Valasse’s debut uses a limited palette, appropriately leaning towards bright oranges and yellows for light and murky greens and blacks for darkness. The slightly abstract screen-printed illustrations emphasize the unknown scary elements hiding in the dark. Although some facts about moths are conveyed, this is predominantly fiction. The focus is on overcoming fear, coming into one’s strengths, and standing up for friends. These are all laudable narrative concepts, but their execution is lacking. The text is sparse and often visually overwhelmed by everything else on the page, reducing accessibility for those still learning to decode books.
VERDICT This attractively illustrated picture book about bravery is a secondary purchase for most collections.

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