The scared book by Debra Tidball

cover image

Ill. by Kim Siew. Hachette Australia, 2017. ISBN 9780734417503
(Age: 3-6) Interactive book, Fear. "Hello! Thank you for reading me. I hope I'm not a scary story" says the first page. But then, uh oh, there are monsters. "I can't tell you the rest of this story because . . . I'm scared!" says the book. Then follows descriptors of how it feels to be scared: a tingle in the spine, goose bumps, giant butterflies and monsters, not to mention the smell that they leave. The book asks the reader to help by scratching away the tingles, rubbing away the goose bumps, blowing away the butterflies and then helping it to relax by following a spiral with their finger. This is a clever publication because it provides a visual representation of fear and gives simple and practical ways for children to deal with it. It also normalises the bodily feelings associated with the emotion. Touching or manipulating parts of the body and breathing are all ways of helping to alleviate stress and children can practice using these within the context of helping the book overcome its fear. The monsters are not threatening looking (they are almost cute) so children will not become scared themselves.
This is a fun book that provides effective methods and a useful vocabulary for children to talk about and overcome their fear. It also reassures children that fear is normal, that everyone has different things they are scared of and that it is okay to ask for help.
Nicole Nelson