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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Are you afraid of something? So much so that you refuse to do something that might be fun to avoid facing that fear? That’s Vicky’s problem. She had a terrible scare when she was younger; she was almost swallowed by a huge wave while playing in the water. That fear of water stayed with her, so much so that she avoids any contact with water. She will only shower once a week and even that is very brief; she refuses to have a bath. The problem is, as you can imagine, Vicky loves to play outside and get muddy. Without bathing at the end of the day, without even washing it off, she is always sticky and icky. Hence her nickname, Sticky Icky Vicky. When her friend invites her to a birthday party at a water park, Vicky is determined to confront her fear once and for all. After all, splashing around in the water with her friends sounds like a lot of fun.
Alysia and Michael Ssentamu’s picture book story, Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear, is a charming story that addresses the concept of fear. Told in rhyming verse, the plot follows Vicky through her daily routine of playing outside, refusing to bathe, how her friends call her Sticky Icky Vicky, and then the birthday invitation. Attracted by the idea of having fun in the water, even though she’s terrified of water, gives Vicky a challenge to confront her fear head-on. Although there’s a negative voice, Negative Ned, urging her to listen to her fears, there’s also a new voice, Positive Ted, who’s encouraging her to try. All she needs is a little courage and a plan. The lyrical nature of the rhyming story and the beautiful, bold, colorful illustrations make this book a gem that will help young readers face their own fears like Vicky did. With positive thinking, anything can be accomplished. That’s what Vicky learned. Beautifully told and presented.