We all have things we worry about. It is not uncommon for many kids to be afraid of the dark or cry on their first day of school. Many kids simply outgrow their fear of the monster under the bed and move on. For others, anxiety and fear follow them for much longer. Don’t worry--all of the characters in these books know just how they feel! These books address common childhood stressors such as the first trip to the dentist as well as deeper emotional anxieties like self-acceptance. Follow these cute characters as they battle their fear of the dark, storms, separation, and monsters on an easy-to-read level for kids in preschool and elementary grades. And don’t forget to read to the end to find some helpful relaxation tips!
I’m Not Scared by Jonathan Allen
When Baby Owl takes his stuffed Owly out for a walk in the moonlit woods, he insists that he is not afraid of the other animals that keep popping up and making them jump. (Ages 3-5)
The Almost Fearless Hamilton Squidlegger by Timothy Basil Ering.
During the day Hamilton can best all the creatures in the swamp, but when it's time for bed, he quivers with fright, until his dad helps him conquer his fear of the dark.
The Otter Who Loved to Hold Hands by Heidi Howarth
Do you like snuggling with your parents? Otto the otter feels safest when he holds hands with his family, but it makes his daily routine difficult. How will he be able to face his fears and finally let go?
Stormy Night by Salina Yoon
Bear is frightened by a storm, but singing to his toy, Floppy, and being with his parents helps comfort him until the storm goes to sleep, and so does he. (Preschool)
George in the Dark by Madeline Valentine
George is afraid of the dark. But when the lights go off, he realizes that his teddy bear is not with him. Will he be able to overcome his fears and rescue his beloved toy from the darkest corner in the room?
I Will Fight Monsters for You by Santi Balmes
Have you ever been told there is a monster under your bed? Imagine how the monster feels to be told there is a human under her bed! This book mirrors the stories of two little girls--one human and the other a monster—who are afraid to go to sleep. Read to find out what will happen when worlds collide! (Preschool)
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes.
Wemberly the mouse worries about everything. Now she is getting ready to start nursery school for the first time! Will all her worries come true, or will she discover that school can be fun?
The First Day at Zoo School by Sarah Dillard
Alfred the Alligator is nervous about starting school. When he meets a very outgoing panda, he thinks he has found a friend. But while her friendship is a blessing, it also makes his anxiety worse. How can he resolve this new problem?
Clark the Shark Tooth Trouble by Bruce Hale
Not everyone likes to go to the dentist. But can you imagine what it must be like for a shark with rows and rows of teeth?! Read about Clark the Shark and his first trip to the dentist. (I can read! 1, Beginning reading)
Have you ever worried that you don’t fit in or that your differences make you an outcast? This frog sure does! He yearns to be any animal that is cute and warm but ultimately discovers that being wet, slimy, and full of bugs has its advantages—and so do you! (Preschool)
Please, Louise by Toni Morrison
On a gray, rainy day, everything seems particularly frightening and bad to Louise until she enters a library and finds books that help her to know and imagine the beauty and wonder that have been there all along.
It Will be Okay : Trusting God Through Fear and Change by Lysa TerKeurst
Little Seed and Little Fox are facing changes and brand new circumstances and they don't like it one bit. Through this unlikely friendship, children will discover that no matter how new or fearful their circumstances, God is always with them.
Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt.
No one knows anxiety better than Scaredy Squirrel! In his debut book, this wound-up squirrel never ever leaves the safety of his nut tree—not when so many terrible things could happen “out there.” But then, something unexpected happens that may just change his outlook. You’ll have to read to find out what that unexpected surprise is!
Keep Calm! My Stress-Busting Tips by Gina Bellisario
Follow Anna as she explains some of the things that cause stress, what the body goes through during stressful situations, and some easy tips for tackling your own anxiety! (aimed at elementary grades)
Ladybird's Remarkable Relaxation : How Children (and Frogs, Dogs, Flamingos and Dragons) Can Use Yoga Relaxation to Help Deal with Stress, Grief, Bullying and Lack of Confidence by Michael Chissick
Four friends are all dealing with issues common to children everywhere. After Ladybird’s “remarkable relaxation” the animals are all able to come up with solutions to their problems and find peace. (Though it can be read alone, this book is primarily geared toward parents and teachers of elementary-aged children and contains guidelines for how to effectively use this technique to deal with stress.)