“An imaginative juxtaposition of anxiety and optimism that’s sure to resonate with fellow worrywarts.”
Adorable monster friends Bogart and Morton display differing viewpoints as they imaginatively contemplate what might be behind a red door. Bogart anxiously expresses concerning “what ifs” about dangerous and scary things lying in wait, while Morton cheerily revises each worry to be an exciting prospect. For example, when Bogart warns Morton that there’s probably a scary wolf “collecting every fork in the world, so there are lots of pointy things in there, and you could get hurt!” Morton giddily replies, “Is it like a fork fortress? With a gumdrop castle?” Burton’s beautifully executed illustrations boast fabulous colors and many delightful details in depicting the imaginative scenarios Bogart and Morton think up. While the ending may feel unresolved to some readers as the story stops before the two friends actually decide whether or not to open the door, it also feels very intentional as it leaves the focus of the book on the contrasting approaches of fear and positivity. Were it a fairytale it might have ended with a positive surprise behind the door confirming that approaching situations optimistically and bravely usually ends on a good note. But the continued mystery of what might be beyond the door keeps the focus of the story where Burton seems to intend it be: on addressing anxiety, worry, and fears of the unknown, accepting uncertainty, and having empathy for others’ viewpoints.
Do Not Go in There! is an encouraging picture book from debut author Ariel Horn and illustrator Izzy Burton that highlights the power of imagination while touching on themes of anxiety, curiosity, and bravery.
Monsters Morton and Bogart are best friends. But they don’t always see eye to eye.
So when they encounter a closed door, anxious Bogart wants to keep it closed, because there must be something really bad on the other side. But Morton thinks it’ll be something amazing! Which is it?
Through bright, expressive illustrations, readers learn that, while not knowing can be frightening, being brave can lead to new discoveries. And even though your imagination can make it easy to worry, it can also make life better, less scary, and more fun.
An Imprint Book
I love the message that the same situation can be looked at with fear and anxiety or with happiness and optimism. Plus these monsters are TOO CUTE!