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Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears    by Emily Gravett order for
Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears
by Emily Gravett
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

This is a most unusual picture book, both in content and form. Using a variety of mixed media, including maps, torn edges, collages, and enhanced by sepia-toned pages, this book explores everyday fears through the eyes of a little mouse. The book is intended to be a self-help book of sorts so that the little mouse can record his feelings about a fear or phobia.

Each page features a vocabulary word at the top pertaining to a fear (such as clinophobia, fear of going to bed; rupophobia, fear of dirt; and cynophobia, fear of dogs) as well as an accompanying illustration or collage about that particular phobia.

The book is intended to reassure children that everyone is afraid of something, and that it is ok to feel afraid. In fact, at the book's end, the mouse is surprised to discover that a grown-up is actually afraid of him (depicted by a drawing of adult-sized feet standing on a chair, while the mouse beams up at him, appreciatively).

The book may be a tad visually overwhelming, particularly for younger readers, but it is intriguing, unique, and could help spark discussion about overcoming fears. There are a lot of underlying nuances that may need to be further explained, so it is a good book to read together.

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