Books

20 books on nighttime fears

Things can seem scary when the lights are turned out at bedtime. Try these books to help them overcome their fears.

By Jessica Spera

20 books on nighttime fears

15 books to help kids conquer their nighttime fears

A Bedtime Yarn

Written by Nicola Winstanley and illustrated by Olivia ChinMueller, Tundra Books. To ease Frankie's fears of going to bed alone, his mother gives him a ball of yarn that connects them as she knits away in the next room. The yarn acts as an anchor for the little bear, and his dreams are inspired by the colour of yarn he is holding. Kids will love following along as Frankie eventually overcomes his fear and sees what he and his mother have been creating together. $22, indigo.ca

Cover art for the book, A Bedtime YarnPhoto: BNC CataList

Under-the-Bed Fred

Written by Linda Bailey and illustrated by Colin Jack, Tundra Books. If Leo needs to use the bathroom, he has to wait until morning—the monster under his bed might grab his ankles! Your kid will learn to face his fears as Leo decides he just can’t hold it and tells his monster he really needs to go. Surprisingly, the monster asks, “Do you want me to come with you?”

Cover art for Under-the-bed Fred

The Moon Inside

Written by Sandra V. Feder and illustrated by Aimée Sicuro, Groundwood Books. Ella loves the colour yellow and the bright, sunny daytime. So every night when the sun disapears, Ella feels scared. But she soon discovers that there are many things to love about the nighttime too like glowing fireflies and the colour of the moon. 

The moon inside book

Blanche Hates The Night

Written and illustrated by Sibylle Delacroix, Owl Kids. Blanche doesn’t want to go to sleep. She wants to play instead. She sings and somersaults but eventually falls into a peaceful slumber.

20 books on nighttime fears

Love Monster & the Scary Something

Written and illustrated by Rachel Bright, HarperCollins Children’s Books. It’s past bedtime o’clock and everyone in Cutesville besides Love Monster is sleeping. Or are they? Love Monster’s imagination may be running wild, but will he be able to face his fears?

20 books on nighttime fears

Emily Brown and the Thing

Written by Cressida Cowell and illustrated by Neal Layton, Hodder Children’s Books. Emily Brown and her grey rabbit, Stanley, wake up one evening to an upset Thing on her windowsill, and they decide to help it so they can all get back to bed. But just when they think they’ll finally catch some zzz’s, Emily Brown and Stanley find themselves on a sleepless journey to help a restless Thing overcome his fears.

20 books on nighttime fears

Goodnight, You

Written and illustrated by Geneviève Côté, Kids Can Press. A pig and a bunny have their first campout and help each other overcome their dread of the dark and the scary monsters that could be lurking.

20 books on nighttime fears

Nighty Night, Little Green Monster

Written by Ed Emberley, LB Kids. You and your child will enjoy flipping through this bedtime story to find Little Green Monster, who gradually appears and then disappears with every colourful page.

20 books on nighttime fears

Kipper’s Monster

Written and illustrated by Mick Inkpen, Hodder Children’s Books. Kipper and Tiger decide to go camping to test out their new flashlight. But as they settle in with a scary book, it seems as though the story is coming to life just outside their tent in the deep, dark woods.

20 books on nighttime fears

A Monster Wrote Me a Letter

Written and illustrated by Nick Bland, Scholastic Canada Ltd. A boy and monster aren’t quite sure what to expect from each other in this black-and-white picture book with splashes of colour. The important lesson he learns? Not all monsters under the bed are scary. 

20 books on nighttime fears

Orion and the Dark

Written and illustrated by Emma Yarlett, Templar Books. Many things frighten Orion, but there is one thing he is most afraid of: the dark. This is a fun bedtime story of how Orion faces his greatest fear while teaching us that bedtime doesn’t have to be dreadful or scary after all. The dark, he realizes, can become your best friend, and some of the darkest places can be the most fun.

20 books on nighttime fears

Scaredy Squirrel at Night

Written and illustrated by Mélanie Watt, Kids Can Press. Scaredy Squirrel refuses to sleep because he’s worried that ghosts, unicorns, dragons, fairies, bats or polka-dot monsters could sneak into his dreams. As he prepares for his worst nightmares to appear, not only does he realize his imagination can run wild, but he also learns the benefits of a good night’s sleep. (Pssst: Scaredy’s smile on the cover glows in the dark!)

20 books on nighttime fears

Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night

Written and illustrated by Jon Davis, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Small Blue is terrified of what awaits in the dark, especially because she sees all kinds of things – from goblins and giant spiders to warty witches and clackety skeletons. Big Brown shows this frightened little bunny how to use her imagination to change monsters of the dark into something less frightening.

20 books on nighttime fears

Splat the Cat Dreams Big

Written by Rob Scotton and Annie Auerbach and illustrated by Loryn Brantz, HarperCollins. Splat the Cat is allowed to hear three bedtime stories before bed. He particularly loves the ones about brave cats and their adventures. But when the lights go out, Splat can’t sleep because he is scared of having bad dreams. He realizes that under his control, his nightmares have a funny way of turning into amazing adventures.

20 books on nighttime fears

Stormy Night

Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon, Bloomsbury. A noisy storm outside keeps Bear awake one night, but he soon discovers that he isn’t the only one who can’t sleep. With his stuffed bunny, Floppy, and the help of his parents, he learns that even storms need to sleep, too.

20 books on nighttime fears

Ten Birds Meet a Monster

Written and illustrated by Cybèle Young, Kids Can Press. Ten birds join together in this creative counting book to fight off the terrifying monster in the other room. 

20 books on nighttime fears

The Dark

Written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Jon Klassen, HarperCollins. The famous author of A Series of Unfortunate Events sticks to the theme of gloom in this story of Laszlo and his fear of the dark. Laszlo learns that even though darkness lurks in every corner, you can overcome your fears if you face them head-on.

20 books on nighttime fears

What There Is Before There Is Anything There

Written and illustrated by Liniers, Groundwood Books. A young boy dreads going to sleep because of the black hole that swallows his room once the lights go out. 

20 books on nighttime fears

The Night World

Written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein, Little, Brown and Company. In the middle of the night, a young boy is awakened by his cat, Sylvie. He tries to tell her that it’s too late to go outside, but he follows her anyway. Along the way, they notice that the house looks different in the dark, with all of its shadows and dark corners. Outside, the animals of the night world keep saying something is coming, and the boy and Sylvie wait with them for its arrival. 

20 books on nighttime fears

The Little Books of Big Fears

Written and illustrated by Monica Arnaldo, Owlkids. Follow the alphabet that lists the reasons why people are afraid, but pay attention to the missing letters! They spell out a helpful message at the end of the story about accepting that we all feel a little frightened at times.

20 books on nighttime fears

Read more: Help kids overcome a fear of needles When fear takes over: Children’s phobias Helping your child overcome a fear of water

This article was originally published on Mar 08, 2016
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