Me and my fear by Francesca Sanna

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Flying Eye Books, 2018. ISBN 9781911171539
(Age: 6+) Themes: Fear. Anxiety. Friends. With mental ill-health an issue for many children, a number of books promoting well being for children have been released. In the past it has been rare to see a character feeling anxious or depressed, and if they did exist in the book, were a minor or secondary character. But now as the issue has become more well known and recognised as a major concern amongst younger people, there are more books around which encourage children to talk about their fears, and see for themselves that they are not alone. I wrote an article published in The Literature Base about well being, and included a long list of books that will help children reach out. (The Literature Base Volume 27, Number 3, August 2016)
Me and my fear addresses the concern of keeping the fear secret. In this book, the child is almost content with her fear, illustrated as a small blob of white like a small animal that sometimes cocoons the girl, sometimes almost smothers her. They do everything together, the fear alienating her from her friends and family. When she sits in the playground the fear tells her that no one likes her, when she sits in the library the fear tells her he doesn't like it here. She becomes more lonely but then a boy talks to her and they begin to do things together, making the fear smaller. The fear is still there but it is smaller and she realises that many of the children have a fear as well.
A book to share with a class which will create much discussion.
Fran Knight