Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears



Clever read fun to share with phobia-prone kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Everyone is scared of something; facing fears helps overcome them.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the interactive design of this clever encyclopedic journal of phobias and fears includes nothing inappropriate or scary, except possibly for the fears themselves. Sensitive children may need to discuss the pages with an understanding adult, but then that seems to be exactly the point and purpose of this book.

What's the story?

Little Mouse is afraid of just about everything (panaphobia), from spiders (arachnophobia) to shadows (sciaphobia) and solitude (isolophobia). Grasping her red pencil, she admits each fear as page after page of this encyclopedia/journal offers the technical name of a phobia, a quick definition, clever illustration, and space for mouse, and reader, to record reactions and feelings.

Is it any good?


LITTLE MOUSE'S (aka Emily Gravett's) BIG BOOK OF FEARS is an amazing creation. Not so much a story to be read as a springboard for discussing and imagining, it is built on a simple, down-to-earth premise brought to life through amazing illustrations and a comfortably interactive format. Immediately inside the front cover, Gravett sets out the basic tenets: "Everyone is scared of something. Living with fear can make even the bravest person feel small ... a fear faced is a fear defeated." She has managed her own fears, she says, through art and doodling, and she welcomes Little Mouse, and the reader, to do the same on the pages of her book.

Constructed much like a scrapbook or journal, the artistry of this book is outstanding and cleverly detailed. Little Mouse, who looks more like a pet white rat, scampers across tea-stained pages filled with doodles, cards, photos, and news clippings. She carries a red pencil that gets shorter, more worn, and definitely chewed on as she moves nervously through the book, recording her own fears and adding her own doodles. Pages nibbled around the edges (added by the author's daughter's pet rats) and tender, expressive drawings in muted tones of beige, brown, and red give a look that is both light-hearted and inviting.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about each of things Little Mouse is afraid of: spiders, insects, monsters, going to bed, knives, bathing, and so on. How does being afraid make her feel? What exactly makes her afraid? Does she have any real reason? What does she do about it? What fears do you have? How do you handle them? On each page, the author offers space for the reader to record his or her fear, and she encourages expression through drawing, writing, or collage-making. Do you think that might help with your fears? Do you agree that facing fears might help you overcome them?

Book details

Author:Emily Gravett
Illustrator:Emily Gravett
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:September 9, 2008
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 2, 5, and 7 year old Written byLoveToPaint March 30, 2011

Through a Child's Eyes

My children hated this book. My girls are very sensitive and when you look at picture books it's important to think about how it will look to children who can't read. Until the very last page, the pictures are all very scared and then suddenly at the end, the adult is scared of the mouse. Research has shown that children aren't going to remember the ending, they're going to remember everything else in the book (per research in Nurture Shock).
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old June 14, 2009

Love it!!!

This book is just a cute little book of fears for everyone of all ages! The cute little mouse is illustrated in all the pictures which helps you understand the definition a little better!! 5 stars!!


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