Little Mouse struggles to overcome his many fears and learns he's not the only one afraid of something.
Emily Gravett, whose first work was the fairly scary picture book, Wolves, takes the subject on directly in Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 32 pages, age 5 and older).
This sophisticated, humorous and informational picture book looks at fears such as aichmophobia (fear of knives), rudophobia (fear of dirt), chronomentrophobia (fear of clocks) and many more. I wonder what the fear of saying big words is called.
The protagonist is Little Mouse, who has commandeered the book's title and apparently has chewed through many of the pages. This cleverly designed book features torn-out holes (through which Mouse peeks), photographs and fake newspaper advertisements and maps, all of which illustrate various phobias.
Mouse lays out all his fears: teratophobia (monsters), clinophobia (going to bed), hydrophobia (water), ablutophobia (bathing) and more. Supplementing the description of whereamiphobia (fear of getting lost)-okay, the author made that one up-is a detailed "Visitor's Map of the Isle of Fright."
Gravett thoughtfully supplies space for readers to write about their own fears. She's taken a (mostly) real subject and had lots of fun with it-especially on the final page where Mouse discovers he's not the only one afraid of something.