Mercer Mayer is a whiz at understanding the psyche of kids and helping them cope with things that scare them, be it an alligator, nightmares or monsters.
Besides There’s a Nightmare in My Closet and There Are Monsters Everywhere, there are actually two other books in this surprisingly empowering series, including There’s an Alligator under My Bed, which we reviewed some time ago, and There’s Something in My Attic, which has a girl protagonist for a change.
But what all the books have in common is that, like all the greatest kid fantasies, the child in the story is the one who summons up the courage to take control of the situation without the need for adult/parental intervention. And, of course, by the end of every book, the spunky kid succeeds in conquering his/her fears — woohoo!
The old-school illustrations by Mayer are full of delicious little details that are fun to discover, and the various ‘scary’ creatures are more strange-looking than truly menacing, so kids shouldn’t have any problems reading the books. I also like how all the protagonists look plain and ordinary, since that allows any kid to easily picture him- or herself in their shoes!