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Peeper’s complaints about noise, and the genuine fear loud sounds inspire in her, continue unabated in these parts, and we’ve learned to adapt. I make cookie dough when she’s asleep. I look ahead to avoid loud things like lawn mowers or steam trains in our path. And we are patient when her conversations repeatedly steer back to the fact that something—a seal, tractor, Jeep—is “too noisy.”
Alas, we haven’t yet found a book that deals with fear of loud sounds, but we like these other books about being afraid. At some point, she might become afraid of the dark, or of getting sucked down the bath drain, or of vampire zombie bats living under the crib. (Who knows? She has a vivid imagination already.)
If your little one is spooked, these books about being afraid might help. At the least, they will say he’s not alone in being afraid.
Read on for a little courage—or at least encouragement!
Our favorite books about being afraid
Yeti, Turn out the Light! by Greg Long. Poor Yeti can’t sleep for fear of the creepy shadows overtaking his hidey hole, and his bed gets more and more crowded as other spooked forest animals crowd in with him. Sure, we love yetis more than the average household, but Peeper loves this book so much that I recite it to her when I run out of songs to sing on car rides. I love, too, how everything “scary” in the story turns out to be perfectly fine—a good message for littles who are finding their own way in a sometimes frightening world.
The I’m Not Scared Book, by Todd Parr. This wonderfully simple and straightforward book tackles common childhood fears and contrasts them with ways kids can overcome them. As only Parr can, this book mixes the serious (“Sometimes I’m scared when my family argues”) with the silly (“Sometimes I’m scared when I go underwear shopping”). After all, kids usually lack the perspective to distinguish between different kinds of fears, like being scared of making a mistake—or of getting lost in the supermarket.
Brave Squish Rabbit, by Katherine Battersby. Squish Rabbit may be little, but he gains a big heart when he faces his fear in order to help a friend. I love how Squish Rabbit is terrified of the dark and chickens (ha!), both obstacles he must overcome to find his squirrel buddy. (Isn’t that always the way—kids are afraid of the most random things!) Plus, Squish Rabbit’s reward at the end makes his feat even more gratifying.
The Pout Pout Fish in the Big Big Dark, by Deborah Diesen. In a follow up to the award-winning The Pout Pout Fish (one of my all-time favorites!), Mr. Fish vows to help a friend who lost her pearl. But as his search continues, he finds himself swimming into deeper—and darker—water. Every time he begins to lose heart, a reassuring voice prods him along. In the end, Mr. Fish discovers that friends can lend him their strength and courage, proving he can do anything—even swim to the bottom of the ocean.
What children’s books about being afraid do you and your littles like?