Book Reviews: Stage Fright/Fear

Grin and Bear It
Author/Illustrator: Leo Landry
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Interest Level: Ages 5-9
**This is a short chapter book with illustrations**

From the Book Jacket: What do you get when a bear walks through your vegetable garden? ...SQUASH! Bear dreams of making his friends laugh. He wants to tell his jokes on Woodland Stage. But Bear has a problem. He has stage fright. Will stage fright stop Bear from reaching his dream?

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I've been looking for a book on this exact subject - stage fright. It's easy to find feelings books on fear but difficult to find an actual stage fright plot line. Well here you go - found!

Here's something personal about me - I used to have the WORST stage fright in school. I remember faking sick in high school because I didn't want to give a speech. The people who know me now would probably laugh at that statement because I love talking in front of a crowd. It took me awhile to build confidence and get over that fear....and truly it was the fear of failure.....the fear of embarrassment.....aren't those the worst feelings ever!? So I'm so happy to have this in my library to support those kids who share those difficult feelings that can practically debilitate you.

You'll enjoy this story and your kids will get exactly what they need from it. Bear begins to conquer his fear through peer support and practicing. In the end, his friends read the jokes for him and he appears on stage afterwards to take a bow. I like that he is not FIXED to perfection. Getting over stage fright takes time and takes small steps.

The I'm Not Scared Book
Author/Illustrator: Todd Parr
Publisher: LB Kids
Interest Level: Ages 4 and Up

A Note From the Publisher: Sometimes I'm scared of dogs. I'm not scared when they give me kisses. Sometimes I'm scared I will make a mistake. I'm not scared when I know I tried my best. With his signature blend of playfulness and sensitivity, Todd Parr explores the subject of all things scary and assures readers that all of us are afraid sometimes.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Huge Todd Parr fan over here! He helps us not take it all so seriously. The kids go ga ga over the illustrations and his humorous lines he sneaks in. Like this one....Sometimes I'm scared to go shopping for new underwear. I'm not scared when I wear them on my head. How funny and random is that?! Of course the kids laugh and laugh. If I'm going to tackle a feeling like being scared it's nice to be able to pull a Todd Parr book of my shelf. I like how each scared statement he writes has a positive solution accompanying it. Be prepared to have your kids ask you to read this one over and over. Ask them to come up with a scared feeling, but don't forget to have them also add in the positive solution to the fear. Good stuff!

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