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20 picture books on fear

Know a kid who has a fear? Or a human who doesn’t?!

I talked to a soon to be fifth grader recently who had one. Or a whole constellation of them, for good reason. She was about to start school in a new country where she didn’t know the school, the place, or any of the kids. Pretty scary. I told her I was confident she’d do just fine. Because I am confident she’ll do just fine.

But she got me thinking about the fears that accompany this time of year, the beginning of school, and how the fears really don’t stop coming.

Picture books are such a comfort to fears (especially if someone comforting is reading them aloud). Like all books, they let us know there are other people who feel the way we do. Who face what we face. Who do just fine.

Here are 20 picture book prescriptions that help address a number of different kinds of fears should they come in handy this year. They aren’t necessarily about fear, but they address specific fears in one way or another. They comfort. And they’re all really good books.

sillybilly Silly Billy by Anothony Browne.

Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding (Anne Schwartz Books) written by Lenore Look, illustrations by Yumi Heo.




Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt.

The Ok Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.



There Are No Scary Wolves by Hyewon Yum.



Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Scott Magoon.



Brave Ben by Mathilde Stein, illustrated by Mies Van Hout.



Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Sophie Blackall.



The Sea Serpent and Me by Dashka Slater, illustrated by Catia Chien.


Edda: A Little Valkyrie’s First Day of School by Adam Auerbach.


I'MHEREI’m Here by Peter H. Reynolds.



Jibberwillies at Night by Rachel Vail, illustrated by Yumi Heo.



AMANDINAAmandina by Sergio Ruzzier.



Can’t Sleep by Chris Raschka.


Garmann’s Summer by Stian Hole.


The Little Matador by Julian Hector.


My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvits, pictures by Gabi Swiatkowska.


Meena by Sine van Mol, illustrated by Cariane Wijffels.


SHRINKINGVIOLEETShrinking Violet by Cari Best, illustrated by Giselle Potter.



Black Dog by Levi Pinfold.



Your turn. Do you have any recommendations of picture books that address a certain fear? Tell us about it!