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Feeling Scared: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about feeling scared?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to feeling scared. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about feeling scared.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about feeling scared, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Samurai Scarecrow to popular sellers like The Gruffalo to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Doll People.

We hope this list of kids books about feeling scared can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Feeling Scared

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles book
#1
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals — the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, “oily” Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with “peace, love and a sense of fun”— apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor’s help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart’s desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.

Jabari Jumps book
#2
Jabari Jumps
Written & illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This was a fantastic book about conquering your fear. The illustrations are so fun—I love all of the different angles and perspectives the illustrator shows Jabari’s situation from and how that really pulls you into the story. Jabari’s dad is patient and understanding, and doesn’t tell Jabari to just hurry up and jump, but waits for him to be ready and coaches him through a technique that might help him be ready to make the leap.

picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash.

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

Wally Does Not Want a Haircut book
#3
Wally Does Not Want a Haircut
Written & illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Wally the sheep does not want to get the haircut he really needs, even after all the other farm animals get new hairdos, but when his shaggy wool gets him in trouble, he has no choice but to ask for a trim.

Little Home Bird book
#4
Little Home Bird
Written & illustrated by Jo Empson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Little Bird loves everything about his home. He’s surrounded by his favourite branch, his favourite food, his favourite view and his favourite music. Why on earth would he ever want to change, even when his brother tells him that they must? Discover how Little Bird ends up finding happiness in his new home from home in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Perfect for all children who love home, however many they may have.

Ollie's Odyssey book
#5
Ollie's Odyssey
Written by William Joyce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

From the creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and The Guardians of Childhood comes a grand adventure of valor, friendship, and a look into the mysterious world of favorite toys.

In the secret realm of toys, there are many mysteries.

There is the Code of the Toys, which is as ancient as childhood.

There’s also the magic of becoming a child’s favorite, the highest honor in the Toy World.

Made by hand by Billy’s mother, Ollie is a special toy, “a toy who will matter.” He becomes Billy’s best friend, confidant, pal, and yes, Billy’s “favorite.”

But there are villains in the Toy World, and Zozo, the clown king, is the most feared. He and his toy henchman (the Creeps) have sworn to steal and imprison favorite toys until they forget their children and become forever lost.

When Ollie is toynapped, Billy must rescue his beloved favorite from Zozo’s subterranean lair in the old Carnival Place, past the park, through the woods, and into the night.

Never has a journey of ten blocks been more epic.

Shark Nate-O book
#6
Shark Nate-O
Written by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie & illustrated by Daniel Duncan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he’s a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can’t swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!

Hopper and Wilson book
#7
Hopper and Wilson
Written & illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

I really like this book. As Hopper and Wilson set out on their adventure they are not afraid of anything. Their sight is completely set on the good that could be at the end of the world. I love this optimism. When they come across some trouble they don’t hide or shrink, but they look for a solution and try to find one another. I think it gives the reader reason and hope in focusing on the good in the world and not worrying or fearing what may come.

board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A playful tale about friendship and home

“What,” Hopper asks his little friend Wilson, “do you think it’s like at the end of the world?” Hopper, the blue elephant, imagines a staircase to the moon, while Wilson, the yellow mouse, hopes for an endless supply of lemonade. So the two sail off in a boat made of paper . . . only to discover they already have everything they could wish for in each other, and at home. Maria van Lieshout’s adorable new picture book tugs at heartstrings, inspires discussion, and reminds us all how good returning home can feel.

The Doll People book
#8
The Doll People
Written by Laura Godwin and Ann M. Martin & illustrated by Brian Selznick
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

When Annabelle Doll finds out she might have a missing Aunt Doll somewhere in the house, she decides to face everyone’s biggest fear: leaving the dollhouse. Not only does Annabelle end up facing her fear, but she rallies together the entire Doll family and inspires them to face their fears on the quest to find their missing family member. They have to face cats, breaking, getting around, humans, among other things, but they show bravery, courage, and dedication in their goal.

chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Annabelle Doll is eight years old-she has been for more than a hundred years. Not a lot has happened to her, cooped up in the dollhouse, with the same doll family, day after day, year after year. . . until one day the Funcrafts move in.

Giant Dance Party book
#9
Giant Dance Party
Written by Betsy Bird & illustrated by Brandon Dorman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Betsy Bird knows all there is to know about kids and books. She is the New York Public Library’s youth collections specialist, she writes a blog hosted by School Library Journal, and has served on the Newbery Medal committee. Now Betsy Bird has written a children’s book of her own, Giant Dance Party. In this rollicking picture book, a group of giants shows up at Lexy’s door wanting dance lessons. After some initial hesitation, Lexy is happy to teach them, and her dance classes end with all her students—as well as Lexy herself—overcoming their fears and putting on a boogying performance. Brandon Dorman, an award-winning artist whose work can be found in The Wizard, and on the covers of Fablehaven and Goosebumps, brings the giants and their dance moves to life with his full-color illustrations.

Oakwing book
#10
Oakwing
Written & illustrated by EJ Clarke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

After Rowan is mysteriously transformed into a tiny fairy, she is thrust into a world of fairy clans and talking robins where, she discovers, her long-missing mother is also trapped.

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Feeling Scared and...

Books About Feeling Scared and Facing Fears

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals — the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, “oily” Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with “peace, love and a sense of fun”— apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor’s help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart’s desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.

Jabari Jumps
Written & illustrated by Gaia Cornwall
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This was a fantastic book about conquering your fear. The illustrations are so fun—I love all of the different angles and perspectives the illustrator shows Jabari’s situation from and how that really pulls you into the story. Jabari’s dad is patient and understanding, and doesn’t tell Jabari to just hurry up and jump, but waits for him to be ready and coaches him through a technique that might help him be ready to make the leap.

picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Working up the courage to take a big, important leap is hard, but Jabari is almost absolutely ready to make a giant splash.

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.

Wally Does Not Want a Haircut
Written & illustrated by Amanda Driscoll
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Wally the sheep does not want to get the haircut he really needs, even after all the other farm animals get new hairdos, but when his shaggy wool gets him in trouble, he has no choice but to ask for a trim.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Little Home Bird - Little Bird loves everything about his home. He’s surrounded by his favourite branch, his favourite food, his favourite view and his favourite music. Why on earth would he ever want to change, even when his brother tells him that they must? Discover how Little Bird ends up finding happiness in his new home from home in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Perfect for all children who love home, however many they may have.

  2. Ollie's Odyssey - From the creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and The Guardians of Childhood comes a grand adventure of valor, friendship, and a look into the mysterious world of favorite toys. In the secret realm of toys, there are many mysteries. There is the Code of the Toys, which is as ancient as childhood. There’s also the magic of becoming a child’s favorite, the highest honor in the Toy World. Made by hand by Billy’s mother, Ollie is a special toy, “a toy who will matter.” He becomes Billy’s best friend, confidant, pal, and yes, Billy’s “favorite.” But there are villains in the Toy World, and Zozo, the clown king, is the most feared. He and his toy henchman (the Creeps) have sworn to steal and imprison favorite toys until they forget their children and become forever lost. When Ollie is toynapped, Billy must rescue his beloved favorite from Zozo’s subterranean lair in the old Carnival Place, past the park, through the woods, and into the night. Never has a journey of ten blocks been more epic.

  3. Shark Nate-O - Nate loves sharks. He reads shark books every day, watches sharks on TV, and talks about them nonstop. He even likes to pretend he’s a shark wherever he goes! However, there is one small problem. . . . Nate can’t swim. When his older brother points this out, Nate works hard to overcome his fears and learn how to blow bubbles, use a kickboard, and finally swim without help, as quickly and as gracefully as a shark. Will he be able to beat his brother in a swim tryout and get his bite back? Kids will love this jawsome book complete with vibrant and whimsical art and a list of shark facts in the back!

  4. Hopper and Wilson - Mom of Boys - I really like this book. As Hopper and Wilson set out on their adventure they are not afraid of anything. Their sight is completely set on the good that could be at the end of the world. I love this optimism. When they come across some trouble they don’t hide or shrink, but they look for a solution and try to find one another. I think it gives the reader reason and hope in focusing on the good in the world and not worrying or fearing what may come.

Books About Feeling Scared and Bedtime And Dreams

The King Who Banned the Dark
Written & illustrated by Emily Haworth-Booth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Once there was a Prince who was afraid of the dark—like so many children are. But this boy became King and actually did something about it: he banned the dark completely! Soon, the sleep-deprived, exhausted citizens are ready to revolt. Can the people help the King face his fears and see that you can’t appreciate the light without having the dark, too?

A Bedtime Yarn
Written by Nicola Winstanley & illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Like a well-worn, snuggly blanket, this sweet bedtime story about a little bear who’s afraid of the dark and his mother’s creative solution will warm and comfort readers big and small.

Frankie is a little bear who has a hard time falling asleep. The dark is scary, and he hates to be alone. So his mother gives him a ball of yarn to hold when he goes to bed, and she keeps the other end in the next room, working it into a surprise for Frankie.

Every few nights the yarn color changes, and Frankie dreams in all the colors that he and his mother pick out. One night he’s swimming in turquoise water, another night he’s in a cool gray fog. He plays with a marmalade kitten and eats delicious chocolate cake. Eventually Frankie and his mother create something special—and Frankie learns that he’s always connected to those he loves, even when he’s alone in the dark.

A beautiful story of love and crafting, A Bedtime Yarn will appeal to knitters, sleepy little bears and any parents dealing with their child’s fear of the dark.

Lionheart
Written & illustrated by Richard Collingridge
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Richard hears something in his room before bedtime. Is it a monster? He doesn’t wait to find out and sets off running through the streets, over the hills, through the forest, and into the fields until he finds himself in a magical jungle. With the help of his stuffed lion Lionheart, Richard finds the courage he needs to face his fears.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Tiny T. Rex and the Very Dark Dark - The adorable and indomitable Tiny T. Rex from the critically acclaimed Tiny T. Rex and The Impossible Hug is back in a tale about friendship and overcoming your fears. Tiny T. Rex and his friend Pointy are having a campout in the backyard! It is what best friends do. But without their nighty-lights, the dark outside suddenly seems VERY dark . . . and very full of spooky things. Good thing Tiny has a super-secret plan to keep the dark at bay! Full of warmth and plenty of laughs, this new adventure starring Tiny T. Rex shows that friends will always find a way to face their fears together—even when those fears are not what they seem! • A great read-aloud book for parents and children • Hip, colorful art and delightful text make Tiny T. Rex an instant favorite of any dinosaur-loving toddler. • A perfect book to help toddlers and children overcome a fear of the dark Fans of silly picture books like Dinosaur vs Bedtime, We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, and Llama Destroys the World will love the sweet spirit and continuing adventures of Tiny T. Rex.

  2. I'll Catch You If You Fall - In the spirit of Someday and Guess How Much I Love You comes a lyrical and endearing picture book about the people in our lives who are always there to look out for us. Who will keep the boy safe? “I will,” said his mother. “I will hold him close… and never let him lean too far.” Big or small, near or far, we all need someone to watch over us. This touching picture book is a reassuring tale about a journey and the people who are with us as we travel through life. It is for anyone who has wondered, Who will keep me safe? and for anyone who has answered, I will.

  3. Super Spooked - Although she has battled supervillains, Ellie has recently become scared of the dark, so when she is invited to a Halloween sleepover at her best friend’s house she is apprehensive—but when the villainous Fairy Frightmare sprinkles the girls with bad dream dust, trapping them all inside their nightmares, Ellie must squash her own fears to rescue her friends.

  4. Tiger Walk - One day Tom draws a tiger, inspired by his visit to the art gallery… That night, when Tom can’t sleep, the tiger pads out of his drawing and purrs, “Let’s go for a walk!” It’s the beginning of a magical and life-changing adventure, as the tiger helps Tom to overcome some of his biggest fears.

Books About Feeling Scared and Bravery

Let's Go, Hugo!
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Hugo is a dapper little bird who adores the Eiffel Tower—or at least his view of it from down here. Hugo, you see, has never left the ground. So when he meets another bird, the determined Lulu, who invites him to fly with her to the top of the tower, Hugo stalls, persuading Lulu to see, on foot, every inch of the park in which he lives instead. Will a nighttime flying lesson from Bernard the Owl, some sweet and sensible encouragement from Lulu, and some extra pluck from Hugo himself finally give this bird the courage he needs to spread his wings and fly?

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
Written & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the New York Times–bestselling creator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend comes the inspiring epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?

Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.

Will he summon the courage to face his fear?

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.

Brave As Can Be: A Book of Courage
Written by Jo Witek & illustrated by Christine Roussey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the author and illustrator of the bestselling In My Heart!

The life of a toddler can be full of frightening things: the dark, the neighbor’s dog, and thunderstorms, just to name a few. As children get older, they begin to feel braver around these everyday events, but how do they build this newfound confidence? In this lyrical, insightful picture book, an older sister explains to her younger sister all the things she used to be afraid of, along with some tricks to help, whether it’s a special blanket for bedtime or singing during a storm. Now, big sister assures little sister, the fears that once felt as big as a mountain feel as minuscule as a speck of dust.

This playful portrait of fear and bravery empowers young readers to confront once-scary situations and, with charming illustrations and die-cuts throughout, is also beautifully packaged.

The Growing Hearts series celebrates the milestones of a toddler’s emotional development, from conquering fears and expressing feelings to welcoming a new sibling.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Cook and the King - The king searches his kingdom far and wide for the perfect cook. He’s very particular, and none of the cooks can get the job done just right. Until the king meets Wobbly Bob. The king thinks Wobbly Bob might be the perfect fit, but there’s just one small hitch—Wobbly Bob is afraid of everything. He’s afraid that he’ll nick himself with the sharp kitchen knives, and he’s afraid he’ll get dirt from the vegetable garden on his new apron. Wobbly Bob needs a companion to help him feel brave, so the king himself tags along every step of the way. This tale of unlikely friendship is a fun and hilarious romp from a bestselling team.

  2. The Crocodile and the Dentist - Oh, it’s time to go to the dentist! Crocodile has a toothache, but he’s afraid of the dentist. The dentist wants to help, but he’s afraid of Crocodile. Never fear! Bestselling author-illustrator Taro Gomi cleverly and humorously presents both sides of the story, as the crocodile and the dentist learn to be brave and face their fears—of what might happen in that dentist’s chair and of each other!

Books About Feeling Scared and Family

Big Papa and the Time Machine
Written by Daniel Bernstrom & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford.

A little boy who lives with his grandpa isn’t reprimanded for being afraid to go to school one day. Instead, Big Papa takes him away in his time machine—a 1952 Ford—back to all of the times when he, himself, was scared of something life was handing him.

Full of heartfelt moments and thrilling magical realism, Big Papa and the Time Machine speaks to the African American experience in a touching dialogue between two family members from different generations, and emerges as a voice that shares history and asks questions about one family’s experience in 20th-century black America.

*“Wasn’t you scared?”

“Oh, I was scared,” Big Papa said. “Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna know what you made of. That’s called being brave.”*

Thunder Cake
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A loud clap of thunder booms, and rattles the windows of Grandma’s old farmhouse. “This is Thunder Cake baking weather,” calls Grandma, as she and her granddaughter hurry to gather the ingredients around the farm. A real Thunder Cake must reach the oven before the storm arrives. But the list of ingredients is long and not easy to find . . . and the storm is coming closer all the time!

Reaching once again into her rich childhood experience, Patricia Polacco tells the memorable story of how her grandma–her Babushka–helped her overcome her fear of thunder when she was a little girl. Ms. Polacco’s vivid memories of her grandmother’s endearing answer to a child’s fear, accompanied by her bright folk-art illustrations, turn a frightening thunderstorm into an adventure and ultimately . . . a celebration!

Whether the first clap of thunder finds you buried under the bedcovers or happily anticipating the coming storm, Thunder Cake is a story that will bring new meaning and possibility to the excitement of a thunderstorm.

Dad and the Dinosaur
Written by Gennifer Choldenko & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A heartwarming father-son story about bravery and facing fears.

Nicholas was afraid of the dark outside his door, the bushes where the giant bugs live, and the underside of manhole covers.

His dad was not afraid of anything.

Nicholas wants to be as brave as his dad, but he needs help. That’s why he needs a dinosaur. After all, dinosaurs like the dark, bugs are nothing to them, and they eat manhole covers for lunch (and everything under them for dinner).

With his toy dinosaur, Nicholas can scale tall walls, swim in deep water, even score a goal against the huge goalie everyone calls Gorilla. But when the dinosaur goes missing, everything is scary again.

Luckily, his dad knows that even the bravest people can get scared, and it’s okay to ask for help facing your fears. It’s just guy stuff.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Frankenbunny - Spencer the bunny’s older brothers frighten him with stories about Frankenbunny and other monsters until Spencer figures out how to overcome his fears and his brothers.

  2. Samurai Scarecrow - It is Halloween, and Yukio is excited to celebrate! But whatever Yukio does, his younger sister Kashi follows. When Yukio carves a pumpkin, Kashi carves a similar one. When Yukio maps out his trick-or-treat route, Kashi maps the same one. But when Kashi goes too far, Yukio says some things he doesn’t really mean.

  3. Nothing Can Frighten a Bear - When Baby Bear hears a noise and fears a monster is near, the whole family gets out of bed and searches the woods to prove that monsters are not real.

  4. Jitterbug Jam - What does this monster have under his bed? Bobo is a young monster who’s afraid to sleep in his own bed. He is sure there is a boy hiding beneath it - a boy with “pink skin and orange fur on his head where his horns should be.” Bobo’s older brother thinks he’s a fraidy-cat, but his grandpa, Boo-Dad, knows all about these fearful creatures. And Boo-Dad knows exactly what to do to scare them away. But after being afraid for so long, Bobo might just want to take matters into his own paws and find out if the creature under his bed really is as bad as he thinks. This rambunctious story of a youngster overcoming anxiety and limitations is set in a captivating otherworld that springs to life in pictures full of enchantment and surprise.

Want to see books about family?

Books About Feeling Scared and Action And Adventure

Off & Away
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It’s Jo’s dad’s job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own. With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picturebook is a treasure.

Campfire Stories
Written by Andres Miedoso & illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Desmond Cole goes camping and tells some scary campfire stories in the eighth book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series! Camping with Desmond Cole is a lot of fun, until he starts telling ghost stories around the campfire. Most kids tell creepy stories that are totally fake, but Desmond tells totally true stories that will give you goosebumps. So, settle in while Desmond, Andres, and their ghost-friend, Zax, take turns trying to tell the scariest story of all. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

Escape Galapagos
Written & illustrated by Ellen Prager
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Before she died, Ezzy Skylar’s mother made Ezzy’s father promise to take his two children on trips to some of the world’s most exotic places, starting with the Galapagos Islands. There’s just one problem: while her little brother Luke is in animal heaven, Ezzy has a paralyzing fear of wild animals. That’s why she’s aboard the cruise vessel when hijackers take over. Forced to find depths of bravery she never knew she had, Ezzy has to flee across an island with her brother and seek to rescue a ship full of tourists under siege.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Star Wars Are You Scared, Darth Vader? - It’s midnight and the moon is full, but Darth Vader isn’t scared. OF COURSE I AM NOT SCARED. Nothing can scare Lord Vader! CORRECT. Not monsters or witches or ghosts, and especially not the dark. So what is Darth Vader scared of? Read on in Adam Rex’s hilarious and spooky Star Wars tale to find out! YOU WILL LEARN NOTHING.

  2. Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks - On a class trip to the aquarium, certified ghost hunter Sam Wu encounters something even scarier than ghosts: a giant shark who TOTALLY tries to eat him. Sam has no intentions of taking any more chances with these people-eating creatures. But then his classmates plan a birthday bash . . . on the BEACH! Can Sam overcome his fear of becoming fish food before he misses out on the fun?

  3. Demon Dentist - “Wacky and reminiscent of Roald Dahl with a twist, middle grade readers who enjoy stories with both laughs and chills will get a kick out of this one.” - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor This New York Times bestseller from David Walliams, the UK’s #1 bestselling children’s author and “the heir to Roald Dahl” (The Spectator), launched his books stateside in a big way! Walliams makes going to the dentist a wacky adventure with his signature humor—this is one dentist appointment you don’t want to miss. Something strange is happening in Alfie’s town. Instead of shiny coins from the Tooth Fairy, kids are waking up to dead slugs, live spiders, and other dreadfully icky things under their pillows. Who would do something so horrific? Alfie is sure that Miss Root, the creepy new dentist in town, is behind it all. There’s nothing Alfie hates more than going to the dentist, but to solve this mystery, he may have to book a dreaded appointment….

  4. The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast - A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can’t remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy’s journey is a struggle for survival and a search for the truth—a terrifying truth that once uncovered, will force him to face his greatest fear of all if he is to go home. This gripping adventure will have readers hooked until its jaw-dropping and moving conclusion. Samantha M. Clark’s first novel heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice.

Books About Feeling Scared and School

So Big!
Written & illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A simple, clever text paired with utterly adorable animal characters makes school-day jitters seem not so big after all! Bear is so big, and he’s ready to start school! But even if you’re SO BIG, you might feel a little nervous at times. Can Bear brave his first day and find a way to make it feel just right? A clever and charming story, So Big! will help young readers through all the important first steps in life. Acclaim for Dad’s First Day Bank Street Best Children’s Books of 2016—outstanding merit title Acclaim for Moo! An ALA Notable book A BCCB Blue Ribbon selection

Wemberly Worried
Written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Wemberly worried about everything. Big things. Little things. And things in between. Then it was time for school to start.And Wemberly worried even more. If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you.

Me and My Fear
Written & illustrated by Francesca Sanna
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

“With its warm palette and gentle scenes of the worried child being comforted, this book could function as a sequel to Sanna’s astounding debut picture book, The Journey, which recounted a family’s dangerous flight from their home in a war zone. Sanna provides an empathetic exploration of the adjustment to a new land that all migrants experience.”—New York Times Book Review

Introducing a companion picture book to the award-winning picture book, The Journey, from rising star Francesca Sanna. When a young immigrant girl has to travel to a new country and start at a new school, she is accompanied by her Fear who tells her to be alone and afraid, growing bigger and bigger every day with questions like “how can you hope to make new friends if you don’t understand their language?” But this little girl is stronger than her Fear. A heart-warming and timely tale from the bestselling author and illustrator of The Journey, this book shows us the importance of sharing your Fear with others—after all, everyone carries a Fear with them, even if it’s small enough to fit into their pocket!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! - Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn’t like it? What if the teacher doesn’t like him? What if he learns TOO MUCH!?! Ask not for whom the school bell rings; it rings for the Pigeon!

  2. The Right Hook of Devin Velma - Even though he suffers from social anxiety, twelve-year-old Addison agrees to help his best friend achieve social media fame while at a nationally-televised NBA game.

  3. Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts - Don’t call him scaredy cat! After an unfortunate incident in the Space Museum, Sam goes on a mission to prove that he’s not afraid of ANYTHING—just like the heroes on his favorite show, Space Blasters. And when it looks like his house is haunted, Sam may just get to prove how brave he is. A funny tale of ghost hunting, escaped pet snakes, and cats with attitude!

  4. Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket - Meet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! It’s almost the end of the school year, and Room Nine is taking a field trip to a farm! There’s lots of fun farm stuff there. Like a real actual barn. And a real actual farmer. There’s even real alive animals you can pet! Only, where’s the gift shop? That’s what Junie B. Jones would like to know. Surely no one would want Junie B. to go home empty-handed. . . .

Want to see books about school?

Books About Feeling Scared and Friendship

Orion and the Dark
Written & illustrated by Emma Yarlett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Orion is very scared of the dark—until Dark decides to pay him a visit!

Orion is scared of a lot of things, but most of all he’s scared of the dark. So one night the Dark decides to take Orion on an adventure. Emma Yarlett’s second picture book combines her incredible storytelling and artwork with die-cut pages that bring the Dark to life.

Lubna and Pebble
Written by Wendy Meddour & illustrated by Daniel Egneus
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In an unforgettable story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that gives her comfort during a time of utter uncertainty. Lubna’s best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does. This emotionally stirring and stunningly illustrated picture book explores one girl’s powerful act of friendship in the midst of an unknown situation.

Hannah and Sugar
Written & illustrated by Kate Berube
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

“Every day after school, Hannah sees her classmate’s dog, Sugar. Hannah politely declines to pet Sugar, because Hannah is afraid of dogs. But one day, Sugar goes missing, and it’s Hannah who finds him”—

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark - Mr. Fish wants to help his friend Ms. Clam when she loses her pearl, but though he’s fast as a sailfish, as smart as dolphin, and as strong as a shark, Mr. Fish has a secret: he’s scared of the dark! Very young children will swim along with Mr. Fish as he journeys deep into the ocean to new and mysterious places. They will discover, as Mr. Fish does, the power of friendship to light the way through the big-big dark.

  2. We're Going on a Pumpkin Hunt - In this spin on the classic song “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” pumpkins and autumn take center stage. A spooky nighttime hunt for the biggest pumpkin in town results in a fright but also a great adventure. Our brave band of adventurers set out one night to find “the biggest pumpkin in town.” First encountering the darkness of night, they bolster one another with the refrain, “I’m not scared. Are you? Not me!”, even though the littlest mouse can’t help but shiver in fright. Their group’s courage stands up in the face of night bugs, and obstacles like trees, a mountain, and a river. But when the search ends with the discovery of a spooky jack o’lantern with pointy teeth and big, bright eyes, the children hightail it back through the trees, the river, the tall grass, and the dark of night, all the way to the safety of home. Have the night’s antics gone too far? Oh, no, everyone’s laughing out loud—it’s fun to be scared with friends!

  3. I Am Not Scared - Two fuzzy friends go to an amusement park. They try to convince each other that there are much scarier things than the roller coaster. Hairy spiders! Aliens! Fried ants! They soon discover that sometimes being scared isn’t as “scary” as they thought. With expressive illustrations and simple text, this giggle-inducing tale about (not) being scared features the endearing characters from the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award­ winner You Are (Not) Small.

  4. When the Moon Came Down - A magical bedtime story about friendship that eases nighttime fears Little Bunny just can’t sleep. He’s hungry, but too scared of the dark to go looking for food. Then he sees a bright light nearby—what can it be? Can it really be the Moon, come down from the sky to see him? A surprising friendship is celebrated with delicate and charming pictures by a prizewinning illustrator.

Books About Feeling Scared and Self-esteem

Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats
Written by Alicia Potter & illustrated by Birgitta Sif
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A tale with many tails, perfect for cat lovers everywhere!

Miss Hazeltine is opening a very special school for shy and fearful cats. They come from all over, and Miss Hazeltine gives them lessons in everything, from “Bird Basics” to “How Not to Fear the Broom.”

The most timid of all is Crumb. He cowers in a corner. Miss Hazeltine doesn’t mind. But when she gets in trouble and only Crumb knows where she is, will he find his inner courage and lead a daring rescue?

Filled with adorable illustrations and ideal for fans of Disappearing Desmond and The Invisible Boy, Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats is a story that’s perfect for shy and fearful children as it both helps them face scary situations and accepts them just as they are.

The Thing Lou Couldn't Do
Written & illustrated by Ashley Spires
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

An endearing story about a little girl who doesnÍt think she can. ñUp there! The tree can be our ship!î one of LouÍs friends exclaims when they decide to play pirates. ñUmmm ƒî responds Lou. Usually she loves adventures. But this is new. Lou has never climbed a tree before. And she knows she canÍt do it. She doesnÍt even want to try. But this adventure does look fun, and when all her excuses run out, Lou realizes the bravest adventurers are those who TRY. An inspiring lesson for anyone whoÍs ever avoided something hard.

The Koala Who Could
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Kevin is a koala who clings to his tree, and never comes down to play with the other animals—until one day his tree falls down, and Kevin learns that the ground is not as scary as he believed.

Honorable Mentions
  1. When I'm Feeling Scared - The Feelings Series are beautifully produced picture books that cover different emotional concepts for young children. These fully refreshed editions of the classic The Feeling series are especially designed to help children better understand their feelings and how to identify, manage and express those feelings in an appropriate and acceptable way - both to themselves and others. These books provide an invaluable tool to help build confidence, self-esteem and contribute to a healthy emotional foundation upon which children can thrive.

  2. The Tiptoeing Tiger - Everyone knows that tigers are sleek, silent, and totally terrifying . . . most tigers, that is. But no one is afraid of Little Tiger. He’s just too small and clumsy to frighten anyone. Determined to prove that he is terrifying, Little Tiger sets out on tiptoe, creeping through the forest to find someone to scare. He gets yawned at and laughed at, but Little Tiger won’t give up. Is there any animal in the forest who will find him just as sleek, silent, and totally terrifying as the bigger tigers? Every child who has ever crept up behind someone and shouted “roar!” will enjoy this utterly adorable story with a gentle final twist.

  3. At the End of Holyrood Lane - Flick is just like any other youngster. She loves to chase butterflies and jump in autumn leaves. But life at the end of Holyrood Lane is often violent and unpredictable due to the constant storms that plague her home, causing her to cringe with dread and flee whenever they strike. Visually arresting, emotionally incisive, and ultimately uplifting, this beautifully crafted picture book provides a sensitive glimpse into one aspect of domestic violence and how it can affect young lives.

Books About Feeling Scared and Monsters

The Gruffalo
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . . .

Go Away, Big Green Monster!
Written & illustrated by Ed Emberley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Caldecott Award-winning author-artist Ed Emberley has created an ingenious way for children to chase away their nighttime fears. Kids can turn the pages of this die-cut book and watch the Big Green Monster grow. Then, when they’re ready to show him who’s in charge, they’ll turn the remaining pages and watch him disappear! This lavish reissue features dramatic die-cut eyes and sparkling foil on the cover.

Pedro's Monster
Written by Fran Manushkin & illustrated by Tammy Lyon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Despite his father’s reassurances, Pedro is frightened by the monsters in his dreams—until he finds a way to use his love of monster trucks to defeat his dream monsters.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Am Scary - This board book features a not-so-scary monster who’s met his match in a young child. In this sweet little book, a monster tries to scare a young child. But the child insists the monster is not scary but actually quite huggable. From the prolific and beloved author and illustrator Elise Gravel comes this funny and cute board book for the littlest readers.

  2. Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed - Meet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! Junie B. knows there’s no such thing as monsters. Mother and Daddy even said so. But then why is there monster drool on Junie B.’s pillow? Oh, no! What if Paulie Allen Puffer is right—what if she really does have a monster under her bed? If Junie B. goes to sleep, the monster might see her feet hanging down. And he might think her piggy toes are yummy little wiener sausages!

  3. Trick or Treat on Monster Treat - When a jittery, jumpy kid is separated from his older brothers on Halloween night and finds himself alone on Monster Street, he fears the worst!
    The boy’s dread of things that go bump in the night fills his head with monstrous thoughts. Lightning flashes. Bats flap overhead. Doors squeak open. Hairy arms and tentacles drop spiders into his sack. The boy is relieved when he finally meets up with another trick-or-treater. That is, until his new friend removes his mask…
    Illustrator Matt Faulkner’s ghoulishly entertaining illustrations capture the playful mood of Danny Schnitzlein’s clever verse. Children will love the surprising twists and turns of the plot, especially how the young hero conquers his fears…with a little help from his new fiendish friends.

  4. Where the Woods End - Kestrel, a young huntress, lives in a seemingly endless forest crawling with dangerous beasts. But the most dangerous beasts of all are the Grabbers–beings that are born when you are and stalk you throughout your life, waiting for the perfect moment to snatch and eat you. No one has ever defeated their Grabber once attacked, and those that die from accidents or other creatures are considered “lucky.” Kestrel has been tasked by her mother, a powerful and controlling spell-caster, to hunt down the Grabbers in an effort to protect their village in the forest. Accompanied by Pippit, a hilariously bloodthirsty weasel, she hones her skills as she searches for a way out of the forest–and away from the judgmental villagers who despise her. But her own Grabber is creeping ever closer, and nothing in this forest is what it seems…including her mother’s true motivations.

Want to see books about monsters?

Books About Feeling Scared and Swimming

Lottie & Walter
Written & illustrated by Anna Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

An original, compelling, and visually stunning treatment of a common childhood predicament: overcoming a fear of the water.

Lottie goes to swim lessons every Saturday, but she never gets in the water. That’s because she is convinced there is a shark in the pool, a shark that wants to eat her and only her. But then Walter appears. Walter likes singing and reading books and bubble baths, and his favorite food is fish sticks, just like Lottie. When Saturday rolls around again, Lottie is no more ready to jump in the pool than she was before. Or is she? Sometimes it just takes a special friend to find the courage that was inside you all along.

Splish, Splash, Splat!
Written by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Splat does not want to have a playdate with Spike. Spike will break his toys and eat all of his candy fish! And he does not want to learn how to swim—water is horrible, scary, and wet! He’s sure that this is going to be the worst day ever. But when the rest of their classmates rush straight into the pool, Splat and Spike find that they may have more in common than they thought. Will Splat overcome his fear of water and get into the pool? And how can he help Spike to do the same?

Froggy Learns to Swim
Written by Jonathan London & illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Zzzziiiinnngggg splash! Everyone’s favorite frog learns to swim!

Frogs are supposed to be great swimmers. “Not me!” says Froggy, who’s afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy becomes an expert frog-kicker!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Ladybug Girl at the Beach - It is preschooler Lulu’s first time at the beach and she needs to conquer her fear of the ocean in this hardcover picture book from the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series. Lulu has never been to the beach but she knows she is going to love it…until she sees just how big and loud the ocean is. She and her dog Bingo decide that they will make sandcastles, fly kites, and get ice cream instead of swimming. But then the ocean waves snatch Lulu’s favorite pail. This is a job for Ladybug Girl! When Lulu is Ladybug Girl, she is brave and nothing can stop her from rescuing her pail – and suddenly she is in the ocean and it is fun! This story is the perfect preparation for a first beach vacation, or to explore a new experience with a preschooler. Mama and Papa are never far away while Ladybug Girl builds up her courage and confronts something scary for the first time. For fans of Fancy Nancy and Angelina Ballerina, the Ladybug Girl series honors courage, creativity, and a love of nature!

  2. I'm a Duck - I cannot swim, and that is bad. A landlocked duck is very sad. One day, an egg rolled out of a nest and right into a deep pond. Now that egg is a little duck, and the water is still very scary. Jumping into the pond at all seems impossible, never mind swimming in a line with all his brothers. “You’re a duck, and ducks don’t sink,” Big Frog points out. Practicing in a puddle helps a little, while backrubs and snacks from his mother help a little more. Big Frog offers to hold his friend’s wing and dive in together, but our little duck knows that some challenges need to be faced alone. Even when they are very scary!

  3. Can I Tell You a Secret? - Meet Monty! He’s a little frog with a BIG secret that he’s ready to share. Monty learns how to face his fears with some help from his new friend—YOU!

Want to see books about swimming?

Books About Feeling Scared and Animals

Bear Feels Scared
Written & illustrated by Karma Wilson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Bad weather frightens Bear, but his woodland friends are there to help him in this sweet, reassuring Bear story from bestselling duo Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman! In the deep, dark woods by the Strawberry Vale, a big bear lumbers down a small, crooked trail… The sun is setting and it’s getting chilly. When Bear’s friends discover that he is not at home in his lair, they march out into the cold to find their pal. Friends don’t let friends stay lost! Wren, Owl, and Raven take to the skies while Badger, Mole, and Mouse search on the ground. Pretty soon Bear is found, and once he’s back in his cave, he feels quite safe with his friends all around.

Night Animals
Written & illustrated by Gianna Marino
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Something’s out there in the dark! First Possum hears it. Then Skunk. Then Wolf comes running. ‘What could it possibly be?’ asks Bat. ‘Night Animals!’ the animals declare. ‘But you arenight animals,’ Bat informs this not-so-smart crew. Children will love the oh-so-funny animals in this twist on a cozy bedtime book.

The Doghouse
Written & illustrated by Jan Thomas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Mouse, Pig, Cow, and Duck are playing a carefree game of ball when (horror of horrors!) their ball gets kicked into . . . THE DOGHOUSE. Who will risk a run-in with scary Dog to get it back? Hysterical high anxiety ensues as Mouse volunteers each animal to do the dirty work—but you’ll never believe what’s really going on in the doghouse!

With Jan Thomas’s fun, fresh art and priceless animal expressions, this timeless tale of fear and friendship will have young readers howling.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching - Egg is not hatching. No way. No how. It is too scary out there. Peep wants Egg to hatch so they can do fun things together, like watch the sunrise, splash in puddles, and play hide-and-seek. But Egg is not cracking… Joyce Wan’s bright and bold illustrations will have young chickies giggling at Laura Gehl’s reassuring tale that takes the not out of I’m not.

  2. What's Following Us? - Something scary and strange is following Scaredy Snake and his pals through the jungle. What could it be? As the “SWISH”-ing and “SWOOSH”-ing draws closer, Scaredy and his animal friends realize that what’s been chasing them may not be as scary as they originally feared.

  3. Kylie the Kitten - Kylie’s excitement over going to summer camp with her friends is threatened by her fear of the water. Includes activities.

  4. The Scariest Book Ever - Reader beware! This is the scariest book ever! Or so claims its melodramatic ghost narrator. You can go ahead and turn the page, but don’t expect him to come with you. Anything might pop out of that black hole in the middle of the forest. What do you mean it’s just a bunny? Well, it’s probably a bunny with big fangs. Watch out, it’s—picking pumpkins with its friends, you say? Actually, despite the ghost’s scare-mongering, none of the animal characters in the illustrations seem scary at all. . . . What’s up with that? Many delights, such as surprises after the page turn, an alarmist narrator, and punch lines to anticipate make this book a scream for both kids and parents.

Books About Feeling Scared and Social Themes

Chicken Lily
Written by Lori Mortensen & illustrated by Nina Victor Crittenden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Chicken Lily may be a lot of things—a careful colorer, a patient puzzler, and a quiet hide-and-seeker (she never made a peep!)—but brave has never been one of them. That’s why, when a school-wide poetry jam is announced in class, Lily is terrified. Will she sound like a bird brain?

Although Lily’s friends Baabette and Pigsley try to encourage her, Lily feels like a rotten egg. Finally, Lily realizes that she must put her best claw forward and prove that even chickens aren’t chicken all the time.

Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears
Written & illustrated by Emily Gravett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Spiders: Little Mouse is afraid of them (arachnophobia). Shadows: Little Mouse is afraid of those (sciaphobia). In fact, Little Mouse is afraid of everything. Join her as she faces her fears and records them in her journal - and discovers that even the biggest people are afraid of some things.

Little Cliff's First Day of School
Written by & illustrated by E. B. Lewis and Clifton L. Taulbert
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Little Cliff’s great-grandmother, Mama Pearl, and his great-grandfather, Poppa Joe, are so excited for him to start first grade.  But Little Cliff doesn’t want to go to school, especially if it means leaving behind his toys, his home, and his family.  When the first day of school comes, Mama Pearl walks Little Cliff to the schoolhouse.  As they draw nearer, Little Cliff hears laughter and looks up to see that all of his friends are there.  Hmm, maybe school will be fun. . . .

Honorable Mentions
  1. Henry and Mudge and Annie's Good Move - In Henry and Mudge’s eighteenth adventure, Henry’s cousin Annie is moving — right next door to Henry! Annie likes Henry and Mudge, but she’s nervous about leaving her friends, and about changing schools, and about what might happen to her things on the moving truck. She’s so nervous she’s broken out in blotches. But Henry knows just the thing for a bad case of nerves — a snuggle under a blanket with a big dog like Mudge!

  2. Ella and Monkey at Sea - Ella’s best friend, Monkey, doesn’t like good-bye hugs. He doesn’t want to say good-bye to Oma. And he doesn’t want to move away forever. Neither does Ella. But Papa is waiting for them in New York. So Ella and Monkey must board the ship with Mama and leave their old home in Holland for their new home in America. Along the way, there is fish for dinner (Monkey hates fish), a playroom full of new kids (Monkey doesn’t like strangers), and stormy seas that leave everyone feeling sick. Can Ella and Monkey find a way to weather the storm? Will they ever feel at home again? This sweetly illustrated picture book will appeal to anyone who has left home behind— and to children who find creative ways to share their emotions

Books About Feeling Scared and Halloween

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
Written by Linda Williams & illustrated by Megan Lloyd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

‘A clever reworking of a classic story. The little old lady’s fearless attitude and her clever solution as to what to do with the lively shoes, pants, shirt and pumpkin head that are chasing her will enchant young audiences. With brilliantly colored, detailed folk art illustrations. A great purchase.’ —SLJ. Children’s Choices for 1987 (IRA/CBC) Notable 1986 Children’s Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC) Children’s Books of 1986 (Library of Congress) 1988 Keystone to Reading Book Award (Pennsylvania Reading Association)

Peep and Egg: I'm Not Trick-or-Treating
Written by Laura Gehl & illustrated by Joyce Wan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Peep is so excited to go trick-or-treating with her friend Egg. She wants to visit the duck pond and the cow pasture to get treats. But Egg thinks Halloween is too scary, with frightening monsters possibly lurking everywhere! Peep tells her jokes because laughing helps you feel less scared. Egg is still not cracking. But soon Egg learns that maybe trick-or-treating is not so scary after all when you have a friend to hold on to.

On a Windy Night
Written by Nancy Raines Day & illustrated by George Bates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

On a windy Halloween night, as a little boy makes his way home after trick-or-treating, he hears a voice: “Cracklety-clack, bones in a sack. They could be yours—if you look back.” As his heart flip-flops with fear, the boy dashes through woods and fields that seem full of haunting shapes—owls, ghosts, skeletons, and more. The detailed illustrations are packed with visual tricks for children to discover. Are those skeletons or cornstalks? Ghostly hands or tree branches? The playful tone of the text makes this a perfect, not-too-scary read-aloud, with an enjoyable surprise ending.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Boo, Bunny! - Two small bunnies face their fears while trick-or-treating on Halloween night. On board pages.

  2. The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree - Three little bears set out, on a dark night, to explore a mysterious hollow tree and, once inside, make surprising discovery after surprising discovery.

  3. Junie B., First Grader: Boo...and I Mean It! - Meet the World’s Funniest First Grader—Junie B. Jones! It’s Halloween! But Junie B. is afraid to go trick-or-treating. ’Cause what if witches and monsters are really real? And what if pumpkins with sharp teeth can eat your feet? And don’t even get her started on the candy corn problem. So how is Junie B. supposed to enjoy this scary holiday?

  4. What was I Scared Of? - The narrator is frightened by a pair of pale green pants with no one inside that seems to be following him, until the two meet and discover that they have nothing to fear. Features illustrations that glow in the dark.

Books About Feeling Scared and Courage

Scaredy Squirrel
Written & illustrated by Mélanie Watt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his nut tree. It’s way too dangerous out there. He could encounter tarantulas, green Martians or killer bees. But in his tree, every day is the same and if danger comes along, he’s well-prepared. Scaredy Squirrel’s emergency kit includes antibacterial soap, Band-Aids and a parachute.

Day after day he watches and waits, and waits and watches, until one day … his worst nightmare comes true! Scaredy suddenly finds himself out of his tree, where germs, poison ivy and sharks lurk.

But as Scaredy Squirrel leaps into the unknown, he discovers something really uplifting …

Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of the Dark
Written by Kevin Tsang and Katie Tsang & illustrated by Nathan Reed
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

Sam Wu is NOT afraid of the dark. But it’s hard to prove you’re brave when you’re about to face your greatest challenge: camping. That means confronting terrifying things like grizzly bears, vampire bats, aliens, and the worst person in the WHOLE UNIVERSE—Ralph ZInkerman! When something starts haunting the woods, can Sam and his crew band together to become Masters of the Dark? And could they even have . . . FUN?

The Bravest of Us All
Written by Marsha Diane Arnold & illustrated by Brad Sneed
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Ruby Jane has always looked up to her older sister, Velma Jean for her brave and daring stunts, but it is Ruby Jane’s turn to be brave in the face of a tornado that threatens her sister’s life.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Very Last Leaf - Lance Cottonwood is the best and brightest of the leaves, but even the top students on the tree have worries. Can Lance conquer his fear of falling and just let go when the time comes for his final exam, or will he let his worries take over? In this funny and encouraging picture book, best-selling author Stef Wade (A Place for Pluto) tells an engaging story and deftly addresses social and emotional struggles many kids encounter each day…feeling anxious, wanting to be perfect, facing fears, etc. These themes combined with illustrator Jennifer Davison’s delightful characters and rich autumnal colors make The Very Last Leaf a perfect book for the start of a new school year, the arrival of autumn, or any period of transition in life.

  2. The Boy and the Cloth of Dreams - In a mystical parable, a boy sleeps peacefully under a brilliant quilt made by his grandmother, until the cloth accidentally tears, nightmares escape, and the child must find within himself the courage to mend the tear.

  3. Shy - A dazzlingly beautiful book about shyness from the author of Blue Chicken, The Story of Fish and Snail, and By Mouse and Frog! Shy loves birds. He’d love to watch them fly and hear them sing, but he’s only ever read about them in books. . .until a real bird comes along. He’s dying to meet her, but there’s just one problem: Shy is, well, shy–so shy, in fact, that he’s afraid to leave the gutter of the book. Can Shy overcome his fears and venture out onto the page? This sweetly relatable picture book from the acclaimed Deborah Freedman speaks to every child who’s ever felt like hiding instead of facing the daunting world.

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