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Ella McBella in the Dark
Ella McBella in the Dark

Ella McBella in the Dark

By Laura Pells, Illustrated by Peter Trimarco


36 Pages, 9.75 x 9.25

Formats: Hardcover Picture Book

Hardcover Picture Book, $17.95 (US $17.95) (CA $23.95)

Publication Date: May 2021

ISBN 9781733354813

Rights: WOR

Notable Kids Publishing (May 2021)

Price: $17.95


Meet Ella McBella, energetic and imaginative! By day Ella is fearless and seeks adventure. But by night she fears shadows, the gloppy green monsters and those strange sounds, which seem to get louder as the sky grows darker. The sun might be sleeping, but not Ella McBella. This is a poetic tale about the power of courage and imagination to help little ones tackle big fears.


"A charming story about a little girl and the monsters that go bump in the night, keeping her awake, too frightened to sleep. Beautifully told with care and compassion and lovely, colorful illustrations." —Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Readers' Favorite

"Beautifully illustrated lyrical children's story about empowering oneself to find a solution to an age-old fear; the dark and what it might hold. I appreciated how the book encourages children to use their imaginations to problem-solve and see things from a different, more positive perspective." —Susan Sewell, Readers' Favorite

"Laura Pells taps into an intense fear… this book really stands out in the crowded field of children's literature. The lyrical, rhythmic narrative is fun and engaging, with sublime, full-color hand-drawn artistry. All of these brilliant elements come together perfectly to turn Ella, her fear, and her small acts of courage into a fantastic read. Very highly recommended." —Jamie Michele, Readers' Favorite

"…a sensitive picture book that encourages the use of one's inner resources to confront, and conquer, fear. Written in the form of a lovely rhyming poem, the book is empowering … (and) demonstrates that anxiety can be banished by discovering and understanding the truth. The illustrations are …delicate, expressive, and active, they use body language and facial expressions to portray Ella's movement from fear to understanding and peace." —Foreword Reviews

"A girl uses her imagination to handle nighttime fears…gathering her teddy bears, reading favorite books by flashlight, and watching the antics of animals outside. In her engaging story, Pells writes rhyming couplets that have a nicely regular meter and vivid word choices: "The shapes change and morph from tree branches to blobs, / growing pointy, long horns and moving in mobs." —Kirkus Reviews

Author Biography

Laura Pells has been sharing her love of literacy in the classroom for over 16 years, in addition to writing and creating curriculums for book authors. A story-teller since she could first read, Laura is well-versed in showing young students various ways to express themselves through creativity and the written word. Likewise, and as illustrated through her first children’s picture book, she has a playful perspective in helping children face their fears and to help them foster resiliency and grit. Laura lives in Centennial, Colorado with her husband and two children.