Local Authors, Local Books: Vernon Hamilton’s Isn’t It Scary?

Nature’s Creatures Teach Kids About Human Nature  

With Isn’t It Scary?, Nyack author Vernon Hamilton has written a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book that features an African-American family, and relates natural animal habitats to the comforts of family and home. 

A distinctive element is how the story connects allaying fear to the implicit reassurance that comes with bedtime reading.   

Hamilton believes that it is important for all children to experience the natural world.   

Even in the most urban settings, there are usually (but not always) semi-wild places to be explored. He wishes that such places could be available to everyone.   

A walk with a parent in a park or a wood can inspire curiosity and appreciation for nature. Thbook encourages families to seek that kind of activity 

Travis and Rosa are in a suburban park with their mother when they see a small rabbit disappear into a hole. The kids peer into the hole as far as they can see, and then one child says, “Isn’t it scary?” Mom reassures the children that the rabbit is very comfortable and safe in its home. 

Isn’t it Scary? follows the family as they encounter a variety of animals in the park. Travis and Rosa see rabbits, squirrels, frogs, fish, deer, birds, and bats. They learn that every creature is able to adapt to its own special environment. 

The end of the book finds the children in bed as their mother reads Isn’t It Scary? to them. Just as the animals are shown to be comfortable and protected in their homes, so too are Rosa and Travis. 

Vernon Hamilton is President of Atlantic Coast Marketing, Inc., a bookseller to schools and other government agencies since 1989. He has lived in Rockland County for more than 40 years. In the earliest days of the internet, Hamilton created the first website (no longer active) specializing in African-American children’s books. 

Isn’t It Scary? is based on his own experience exploring nature with his children, when they were very young. In every season, they found places where they could find life behind fallen logs, under rocks, in the sky, and at the edges of ponds and beaches. 

Hamilton points to many significant books that focus on the distinct aspects of Black childhood. His goal with this work is to illuminate the curiosity and trepidation that is a part of every child – and to comfort them all.  

ISBN: 978-1-4808-8916-3 (hardcover); 978-1-4808-8917-0 (softcover); 978-1-4808-8918-7 (e-book)  

Available through Archway PublishingBarnes & Noble, and Amazon 


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