Children’s Books About Coping with Common Childhood Fears

Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs

In the March 2010 issue of Be the Best Nanny Newsletter we discussed coping with common childhood fears.

Separation Anxiety:

Do any of your charges suffer from separation anxiety? If so, they are not alone. Separation anxiety is completely normal and actually a developmental milestone. To see tips from other nannies on the topic click here. One of the children’s books we recommend reading to children that suffer from separation anxiety is Bye-Bye Time by Elizabeth Verdick.

Being cared for by a nanny or au pair or being dropped off at preschool means saying good-bye to Mom or Dad. For many toddlers, bye-bye is a scary situation. This gentle book helps ease the transition with simple rituals: hugs and kisses, a big wave, a deep breath, and the confidence to seek comfort with the new caregiver or other children. An award-winning author/illustrator team offers a fresh look at the times and transitions all toddlers face daily, giving young children the tools to handle routines with confidence and cooperation. Part of the Toddler Tools series, Bye-Bye Time  can be shared before (or during) the desired “time,” or whenever toddlers need encouragement with routines.

Being Afraid of the Dark:

Another common childhood fear is being afraid of the dark. Nannies suggest using nightlights and reading children’s books to help kids that are frightened of the dark. To see what other caregivers suggest doing when children are afraid of the dark click here. Just one of the children’s book we suggest sharing with a child that is scared of the dark in the March 2010 issue of the nanny trade publication is The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson.

Plop, the baby barn owl, needs to overcome his fear of the night, because that’s when he and his parents must go hunting. His understanding mother suggests that he ask various other creatures why they like the dark. A boy calls it exciting because he can see fireworks, an old lady finds it kind as she remembers past pleasures, a Boy Scout says it’s fun because friends can sing around the campfire and drink cocoa, a girl explains that it is necessary so that Santa can come, an astronomer terms it wondrous because he can see the constellations, and a cat simply points out the beauty of the sleeping town. Now convinced that the dark is just right, Plop becomes a night owl.

Scared of Monsters:

Kids that are afraid of the dark are often afraid of monsters under their beds or in their closets. To see ideas from other nannies about helping kids cope with the fear of monsters click here. There are tons of books on the topic one book we like is I Need My Monster   by Amanda Noll.
The monster under Ethan’s bed (whose name is Gabe) has gone fishing — how will Ethan ever get to sleep without his nightly scare? Several other monsters audition for the job, but none are quite right. Noll gives the “monster under the bed” issue a whole new twist, funny with just the right touch of fright. Howard McWilliam’s absolutely gorgeous illustrations complement the story perfectly. This is a great book both for parents who are looking to help their kids cure night-time fears and for kids who like a little scare.


Are your charges afraid of thunder storms? If so, they are not alone. Many children (and many adults) are afraid of storms. Did you know that lightning bolts can be over a mile long? Or that they may come from clouds that are ten miles high? Storms can be scary, but not if you know what causes them. That is why before the next thunderstorm, grab Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll by Franklyn M. Branley and learn what causes the flash, crash, rumble, and roll of thunderstorms!

We have many other children’s book suggestions for common childhood fears in the March 2010 issue of Be the Best Nanny Newsletter. Feel free to share your favorite children’s books on the topic. Be sure to stop by next Saturday for another Weekly Trip to the Library.


  1. I think you had 2 of these in the newsletter but just in case I want to let other nannies know they are cute.The Monster who ate Darknessby Joyce DunbarWhat's That Noise? by Michelle Edwards and Phyllis RootCan't You Sleep, Little Bear by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth Esperanza RodriguezNew Haven CT

  2. Great I bought The Owl Afraid of the Dark a long time ago due to your review and it's been a great help!

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