Towards the end of the year, I resort to pulling out the iPad and reading books from Epic! to the kids. I love Epic!, sometimes I use their read-aloud and sometimes I don’t. But there is one series that I try to do each year with first grade, Melanie Watt’s Scaredy Squirrel.

First off, it is dangerous to be a little squirrel and so I don’t blame Scaredy for staying in his tree and sticking to his routine!

He does that a lot. This little guy is afraid of germs. And sharks. And tarantulas. And martians. And Godzilla.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. He has some reasonable fears and some that even a six-year-old can see as irrational. He takes precautions against his fears, but these precautions quite often cause him more trouble than help.

In each of his stories, Scaredy learns that the unknown — the world beyond his tree — isnt quite as scary as he thought. He usually makes a great discovery (did you know some squirrels can glide?!?) and he grows a little bit braver in each book.

Scaredy is a great book for helping kids face their fears and just to make them laugh.

And don’t forget: when all else fails, play dead!

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