Freaky Phobias by Joel Levy, paperback non-fiction, 80 pages, published by Scholastic Australia in 2011.
This book is a fascinating insight into a range of phobias. It covers the most common ones, such as arachnophobia and claustrophobia, alongside some extremely unusual phobias. I never knew there was a word for the fear of otters or knees or kissing, but there is! And there are many other phobias that I had never considered, but discovered in Freaky Phobias.
Freaky Phobias is an informative and interesting book for primary aged children. I learnt quite a lot whilst reading Freaky Phobias, as did my second grader. It had a good depth of information for children, and plenty of fun facts to engage the reader. The photography depicted all of the terrors contained within the book with such clarity that my second grader wanted to skip some of the pages because she felt anxious.
Freaky Phobias contains an A-Z of Phobias, providing the names and descriptions of quite a few phobias. I think this glossary could have been enhanced by including the phonetic spelling of the names, as some of them are quite long and complicated words, which I had difficulty pronouncing.
This is quite a good non-fiction title for young learners (and big ones too!)
Parachute by Danny Parker and illustrated by Matt Ottley, hardback picture book, published by Little Hare Books in 2013.
Toby is an anxious child, frightened and worried about many things. He especially doesn’t like heights. To combat his fear, he wears a parachute all the time. The parachute helps him to feel safe when getting out of bed, playing at the park and even hopping off the step stool in the bathroom after brushing his teeth. Then his cat needs the parachute more than he does, and Toby realises that he can face and conquer his fears all by himself.
A simple story about overcoming one’s fears and learning to rely on oneself. The illustrations in Parachute are a bit quirky, but I liked them. The pictures showing the exaggerated height of things, as perceived by Toby, were particularly well done. My kids weren’t wrapped in this book though, and have declined to read it a second time. My second grader is an anxious child, so I thought this story would appeal to her, but she thought it was a bit silly that Toby wore a parachute all the time, since she didn’t think it would be much help if he did fall out of bed or off the breakfast stool. My preschooler liked the pictures, and seemed to enjoy the story well enough, so perhaps this book is just more suitable for preschoolers.