Being still in the process of raising children I have enjoyed getting to know the world of children’s books around me. I have discovered I love the books most that speak to children on their terms, without prescriptive jargon or overly explained lessons. I adore books that artfully touch on themes of love, fear, friendships, loneliness, anguish, anger, happiness, and pride.
With each library visit, I gather 10 to 20 books, hoping to find at least one gem that impacts both my children and me. Sometimes I score big; sometimes I fail to be moved at all. Yesterday, as I ambled through the library, selecting books to take home for my kids, I discovered one picture book that hit me right in the gut.
Me And My Fear by Francesca Sanna is one of those books that showed tremendous promise to pull at my heart strings. The cover illustration alone flawlessly explains how fear can become a soft blanket to immerse oneself in in order to justify avoiding the world.
Managing Fear, Managing Anxiety
What the cover did for me, the story did so much more. I’ll let you discover for yourself, but to get a glimpse all you need to do is read the back cover. “From the award-winning author and illustrator of the Journey, this insightful and delicately told story shows that we can all find friendship and comfort when we share our fears.”
Needless to say, we all wrestle with tough feelings along our own paths in life. Some of us, particularly we who struggle with mental illness, become entangled in an endless grapple with fear. We just call it anxiety. And anxiety constantly waxes and wanes with each new coping mechanism we learn to throw at it.
Helping Children Understand
With Me and My Fear, Francesca Sanna exquisitely communicates just how powerful fear can be, especially among children. She demonstrates that although we may not be able to eradicate feelings of being scared within ourselves, we can tame it by sharing our anxious thoughts with each other.
Of my four children, I have two who seem to be much more fearful than the others. One has been diagnosed with social anxiety. The other one is very young and incredibly shy. This book is a reminder to continue to encourage my children to talk about their fears and help them understand that so many others struggle with fear too. And that’s okay.