I am not afraid of snakes. I find them fascinating, and as a child I even saved my allowance to purchase one as a pet. In recent years, I’ve encountered many copperheads; the ones in the yard are no problem, I simply give them a wide berth and continue on my way. It’s those I’ve met while gardening that make me nervous. There’s nothing like happily weeding down a row only to arrive at the tail of a coiled poisonous snake. Once, a baby’s bright yellow tail tip even stroked my hand in its efforts to escape my rustling. I started to carry my cell phone and “announce” my presence before sticking my hands in, but I was still afraid a copperhead would misinterpret my gardening as a threat and lash out teeth first! So I did some research on copperheads and what happens if you’re bitten. Now, when I start to feel nervous, I remind myself that although poisonous, a copperhead bite isn’t deadly, and that I definitely want to ask for the anti-venom before finding out how much it costs. This knowledge has helped me face my fear and continue a beloved hobby. While not a guaranteed cure, the power of knowledge can be a great reassurance. Here are some books that might help soothe your wary loved ones.
I'm a Shark is a hilarious book about fear by madcap master Bob Shea. We meet an awesome shark who declares himself unafraid of anything. Shots, scary movies, and dinosaurs are nothing to this undersea predator. That's when a tiny crab and fish happen to mention spiders.
"Creepy spider! Yuck! Is it on me? EWWW! EWWW! EWWW!"
"By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich. But you may not know how it happened. So let me tell you."
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich follows one curious creature's romp through the big city, which he interprets as the strangest and most surprising forest he has ever been in.
Dancing Feet is a colorful guessing game for little ones. Each page spread alternates between questions and answers of which animal might be moving and grooving on the next page.
Julia is new in town, courtesy of her giant tortoise-house. She likes the neighborhood perfectly fine but thinks it is a tad quiet. To make things more interesting, she hangs a sign outside her door reading "Julia's House for Lost Creatures."
Soon, all sorts of magical beings appear on her doorstep looking for shelter. It starts with a patchwork cat, then a bridgeless troll follows. Once word spreads about the house, gnomes, dragons and mermaids start lining up outside. Before Julia even knows it, her humble abode has been overrun with a bunch of fairytale freeloaders. What is a harried hostess to do?
Once Upon an Alphabet is as ambitious as picture books come. Author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers presents 26 short tales, each based on a different letter of the alphabet. An astronaut who is afraid of heights, a daredevil girl who laughs in the face of death, and a lightning-struck lumberjack are just a few of characters we meet.
"Hello, My Name Is Ruby," a small bird exclaims to anyone who will listen. She may be tiny, but Ruby makes up for her size in terms of sheer friendliness. Despite differences in size, color, and species, Ruby asks each of them if they would like to be her friends.
Louie is a picture-book character who notices the little details. A Perfectly Messed-Up Story begins to tell Louie's tale, but the book does not get very far before our hero discovers a startling fact that derails the entire story. There's a big, nasty jelly stain on the page!
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole is exactly what it sounds like. Two boys start digging a massive hole to see what they might find. Such an activity is a tried and true milestone for any child explorer, but few make it as deep as this pair does.
The Terrible Two is a devious satire of middle school life where no one is spared. Miles Murphy was the prankster king at his old school, then he had to move to boring, old Yawnee Valley, famous for its abundant cow population. Miles is not happy. He will have to establish his pranking cred all over again.