DiscoverPicture Books

The Battle of Spencer Street


Worth reading 😎

A story about anxiety from a child point of view. Worth reading, but development could be better. Nice that tackles such an important theme

The Battle of Spencer Street is the story of a boy who suffers of anxiety and is afraid of everything. Sanders is always looking five times before crossing the street, panics about the dark and is extremely worried about what he eats, touches and do. For this reason, he struggles playing with the other children and enjoying activities,

Mrs. Luis is a kind and supportive neighbour that decides to help Sanders to manage his anxiety and overcome his fears. She understands what he is going through and wants to provide him tools to better deal with his emotions and feelings.

She tells him about a crow named Geranium Hoggledy-Poggledy, and how he wants to steels something from the boy and his dog, Tuffety. And how the only way not let the crow win, is to be clever, and find ways to not be scared of him.

The concept initially is good, however, the development of the story and its characters a little shallow. Discussing anxiety and mental health is so important, especially for children. The author had a great idea, and has merit for bringing the matter to light, but I would like to see more elements to allow discussion and provide the young reader a better understanding of how hard it is to deal with these issues.

Although the narrative is ok, and the book is a resource to tackle the subject, it is misconceiving that overcoming anxiety would be done the way suggested. I would prefer that the solution/ending to be around facing the problem, looking for help and actually things that could be beneficial for those who suffer. How those who doesn't can understand better and support them.

Overall, it's worth reading and the tale is enjoyable. Illustrations are beautiful and do represent well the words. I would recommend to children 4+

Reviewed by

I’m a mother, teacher and book lover/advocate.

My goal with the Book Bug platform is to increase interest in reading, especially picture books, and assist parents and teachers. Also to provide resources, story telling, book reviews and advice.

Above all, I want to connect our bookworm community.


Mrs. Luis knew her little neighbor, Sander was different. So begins author Evie De la Roca’s masterful tale, The Battle of Spencer Street, about a child with anxiety who tapped the soap three times for good luck after washing his hands and who was afraid of the dark...and seemingly everything.

When Sander is informed that a neighborhood crow, Geranium Hoggledy-Poggledy, is up to no good and has a plan underway to steal Sander’s beloved Tuffety’s dog collar, the boy knows that the crow must be stopped…just not by him.

“I know you are often scared, Sander, but you need to be just need to think of how to outsmart him,” says Mrs. Luis. The book’s lively illustrations and tender story show that through trial and error, attempts and failure, patience and persistence, Sander is victorious against the decorated crow...and his own fears.

The Battle of Spencer Street is a perfect read-aloud for families who wish to enjoy together a courageous story about conquering one’s fears. It is a wonderful tale for children battling anxiety and fear to show them that they are not alone and that their differences can actually make them stronger.

About the author

Evi lives at home with her 4 toucans in Melbourne, Australia. She spends the day teaching them Gilbert and Sullivan musicals which they sing with alarming alacrity. They have won numerous awards nationally and internationally. Evi may be prone to under or over-exaggeration. view profile

Published on March 21, 2021

0-1000 words

Genre: Picture Books

Reviewed by