Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 7
- Grade: k to 2
In a reassuring bedtime book perfectly pitched to ease sleep anxiety, a little boy overcomes his worries by befriending the darkness.
A little boy faces his fear of the dark by engaging in a conversation with it. Imagining the dark as a friendly shadow creature, the boy comes to the realization that the dark is not only a necessary part of life, but that it can be fun as well! The boy and his new friend play make believe, meditate, and listen to music until it's finally time to fall asleep.
In Hello, Dark, Wai Mei Wong's debut offers a mindful depiction of the dark that's perfect for bedtime and will help even the most restless sleepers find their own comfort after the lights go out. Tamara Campeau's compelling illustrations depict the boy's bedroom in deep and rich color that perfectly evokes the feeling of darkness without being frightening. A note to caregivers at the end of the book relays the author's experience as an early childhood educator who has often supported families seeking support to manage their child's fear of the dark and sleeping anxiety.
About the authors
Wai Mei Wong is an early childhood educator with a passion for making sure children and their families have the emotional support they need to thrive. Her debut picture book, Hello, Dark, celebrates a child-led solution to nighttime anxiety as a little boy overcomes his fear of the dark by befriending it. Born in Hong Kong, Mei now lives in Toronto with her husband, her nature-loving son, and two feline friends, Sesame and Pepper.
Tamara Campeau’s illustration journey began at Dawson College, where she earned her associate degree in illustration and design. Shortly after, she furthered her studies at Sheridan College, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in illustration with honours. Tamara works digitally to bring stories to life through her painterly illustrations. Her work has a strong sense of lighting and vibrant colour palettes, along with dynamic compositions. She loves creating endearing characters with a strong sense of personality and emotion. Her work is inspired by wildlife, children, and the environments they reside in. She uses this inspiration to add a layer of realism to her illustrations. When she’s not at her desk, she can be found breaking a sweat at the local gym or exploring nature with her standard poodle, Peanut.
- Commended, CCBC Spring Best Books for Kids & Teens
Praise for Hello, Dark
2022 IODE Jean Throop Book Award Short List
2022 CCBC Spring Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection
“A new perspective combats a common childhood fear: the dark. This tale compassionately guides young readers to face their fears.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A generous look at nighttime, and the fact that it unfolds in dim rooms and under black skies gives it a resonant veracity. For all bedtime shelves.”—School Library Journal
“The detail in some of the scenes is astounding, in particular, the picture books on the shelves and the newspaper pirate’s hat. Hello, Dark will be a comfort to children and an essential title for parents who struggle with their children’s fear of the dark.”—CM Magazine
“Tamara Campeau’s richly drawn illustrations, with their dark colors and nighttime setting, bring out the beautiful details of the darkness instead of its scariness.”—Manhattan Book Review
“The very familiarity of both the child and the setting will make it easy for young listeners to identify with the narrator. Campeau mixes up the framing of her vibrant digital artwork so that we look at the narrator and the room from a variety of angles, which heightens the book’s visual impact.”—Youth Services Book Review
“[A] compelling story which encourages children to gain control of their anxieties. By articulating concerns and re-imagining a negative situation into a positive one, this book celebrates the inner strength of children in overcoming their fear of the dark.”—Canadian Children’s Book News
“Wai Mei Wong gives voice to a child who is afraid of the dark.”—The International Educator
“Wai Mei Wong is an early childhood educator and has drawn on her experiences working with young children and their families to create this beautiful resource which also includes strategies parents and caregivers can use to help ease bedtime anxiety.”—Storytime With Stephanie
“[A] boy has a conversation with his fear, the dark. In doing so, he realizes all the good things the dark does and that maybe it's not so bad after all.”—The Kid Lit Mama
“By addressing a child's fear as something tangible…Wai Mei Wong has let this child have his fear and helps him, and every child who reads this book, to cope with it.…Artist Tamara Campeau could have given the night the eerie nature that many children attribute to it but this deeply-coloured book is anything but dark.”—CanLit for Little Canadians
“This is a book that directly addresses the fears that some young children have about the dark and allays them. I liked that the boy took control, a good message for kids about how they interact with things in their world, as an active participant.”—Canadian Bookworm
“This will be great for parents/caregivers who are looking for additional support in helping their children cope with a fear of the dark… Instead of something to fear, the dark becomes something that is positive.”—Bookishrealm, Goodreads
“[T]he perfect book for children who have a fear of the dark. A parent's job is to bring positivity into a child's life and this author gives parents the opportunity to do exactly that.”—Bethany, Goodreads
“Hello Dark, hits the sweet spot in terms of helping kids overcome an aversion to “the dark.” A simple, sweet storyline has our hero befriending darkness, personified mostly through shadow, and employing child-led solutions to overcoming nighttime fears.”—Mr. Alex’s Bookshelf
“This sweet book is perfect for any little children (or adults!) who are afraid of the dark. The story teaches ways to reframe your negative thoughts into something positive…This book is sure to inspire young readers to use their imaginations in a new way…”—Luminous Libro
“Hello, Dark is a mindful picture book featuring a monologue of a little boy to the dark…the perfect book for kids who may have fears associated with the dark.”—@raisingreaderstobecomeleaders
Other titles by Wai Mei Wong
Other titles by Tamara Campeau
The Girl Who Swam with Sea Creatures
We Love You as Much as the Fox Loves Its Tail
Maakusie Loves Music
The Girl Who Danced with Giants
Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me A Story
A World of Mindfulness
Kits, Cubs, and Calves
An Arctic Summer