Baby Book Club – November

The nights are drawing in, echoes of Halloween are still with us and loud, brash fireworks will soon be making us jump. There’s a lot for little ones to be scared of at this time of year. My boys were both full of worries and fears when they were toddlers. It could even be something as innocent as a slightly spooky advert. I struggled to help them overcome these fears without playing down what they were feeling. This month I’ve chosen books about being scared. They all approach it in different ways so I’m sure you’ll find one that works for you.

I Am (Not) Scared
by Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant

Sometimes being scared isn’t a bad thing, it gives us a thrill and we actually enjoy it.
In this story, two furry friends discuss what makes them scared – trying to pluck up the courage to go on a roller coaster. In the end they go on it and they are scared but realise it’s still fun.

Hannah and Sugar
by Kate Berube

One of the reasons I think my boys had lots of fears was because they were really empathetic. Hannah doesn’t want to pet her friend’s dog, who comes to meet the school bus every day – she’s too scared. But when Sugar the dog goes missing, Hannah realises how scary it must be, being lost in the dark. Her empathy turns her fear around when she is the one to find Sugar.

Jabari Jumps
by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is pretty confident that he can jump from the high diving board until reality kicks in. He keeps putting it off until he gets some great advice from his wise dad. “Sometimes it stops feeling scary and feels a little like a surprise”
I love the character of Jabari, I really felt for him and wanted him to do it.
This is quite a wordy book so it’s for preschoolers at least but the illustrations are fabulous and it’s a book to treasure.

Brave As Can Be
by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey

Another wordy book but a really good one for children with lots of different fears. This little girl talks through all the things she was scared of and how she overcame them.
This book has clever look-through holes and lots to talk about.

Days with Frog and Toad
by Arnold Lobel

I couldn’t write this blog without the story that gave me the idea. The Frog and Toad series of books is so charming – I could sit and read them on my own quite happily.
This book is a collection of short stories, only taking a couple of minutes to read each. The one I love in this book is “Shivers”. Frog tells Toad a ghost story. Toad is a bit scared but Frog is loving it!
By the end of the story, they both have the shivers but they’re scared together and it’s a “good warm feeling”

Owl At Home
by Arnold Lobel

Another collection from Arnold Lobel (one of my fave children’s writers). This time we follow Owl on his adventures. Check out the story “Strange Bumps” for a silly take on being afraid of something.
Owl notices two strange bumps in his bed, they move when his feet move and he’s worried they’ll get bigger while he’s asleep.
Your little ones will laugh at how silly owl is, as well as understanding his fears.
This is such a gentle book, you’ll fall in love with Owl.

One for the Parents

Starve Acre
by Andrew Michael Hurley

I have to admit, I don’t often read horror stories – I find them too scary!!!
But I heard part of this book when it was serialised on the radio and it sounded fascinating. It plays on English folklore and nature to create a spooky atmosphere.
Richard and Juliette have lost their son and the book follows a family in the aftermath of loss. I’m going to give this one a try. Let me know if you’ve read it, I’d love to know what you think.

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