Preschool and Picture Books

Theme: Fears and Phobias

Can You Make a Scary Face? - (ISBN: 978-1416985815)

by Jan Thomas

In this book, an ugly ladybug gives orders to mesmerized readers who react by making faces, changing positions, even jumping up and down. If your family is ready for an all-involving experience, join the insect and her companion, a very hungry frog, as they compel children to express themselves creatively.

Epossumondas Plays Possum - (ISBN: 978-0152064204)

by Coleen Salley

Although Epossumondas, a possum baby still in diapers, has been warned by his mother not to wander into the fearful swamp, he somehow forgets and finds himself in the swamp confronting one scary creature after another. Fortunately, he is not too young to play “possum” and manages to fool the predators. Have a quiet contest with your family members and see who can “play possum,” keeping still and not moving the longest!

Go Away, Big Green Monster - (ISBN: 978-0316236539)

by Ed Emberley

As children turn the pages of this marvelously illustrated book, more and more parts of the monster’s face appear. Then the features begin to disappear one by one. Enjoy helping your children to conquer their fears by drawing your own monster faces.

I'm Bad! - (ISBN: 978-0061229718)

by Kate McMullan

A fearful young Tyrannosaurus Rex tries to scare many creatures that live near him in order to get some lunch, but his attempts continue to meet with failure. A big surprise comes in the middle of the book when readers see just how small he is and how big his mother is!

Silly Billy - (ISBN: 978-0763631246)

by Anthony Browne

Although Billy is quite a worrier and beset by phobias (clouds, clothing items, birds, night time), his comforting grandmother offers him a multi-cultural solution, Guatemalan worry dolls. When his worry dolls start getting too many things to worry about, Billy uses his own ingenuity to solve their problems. He gives them their own worry dolls! What helps do your family members offer to help lower your stress levels?

The Scary Night - (ISBN: 978-1434217523)

by Anastasia Suen

Night noises and weird lights help the fear build as the characters in this book prepare for their first night camping out. Make a campfire with your children and tell frightening stories like the children in this book heard. You can even have a pretend campfire in your living room by making a “fire circle” out of blocks or showboxes. Construct “flames” out of crumpled newspaper.

There’s a Nightmare in My Closet - (ISBN: 978-0140547122)

by Mercer Mayor

This book attacks every child’s greatest fear head on by showing how the star of this book got over his fear of the monster that “used to live” in his bedroom. Children reading this picture book learn that the imagination might just make fears worse than they are. Talk with your children about their fears and how the book’s star makes them more manageable.

First Day Jitters - (ISBN: 158089061X)

by Julie Danneberg

Hate That Thunder/ Odio Ese Trueno - (ISBN: 097727571X)

by William J. Adams

I Stink - (ISBN: 978-0064438360)

by Kate McMullan

Sheila Rae, the Brave - (ISBN: 978-1591123262)

by Kevin Henkes

Sometimes I’m Scared - (ISBN: 978-1433804496)

by Jane Annunziata

Activities for this Theme

Have a scary story-telling contest around your real or pretend camp fire.


Get a large sized hand mirror and have your family members compete to see who can make the ugliest, scariest, and most frightened faces.


Print out these eerie spider web coloring pages


Share some scary stories that you heard as a child; talk about how to handle the stories so as not to be afraid.