When You're Scared

Andrée Poulin

Véronique Joffre

It’s a bright and beautiful day at the lake where a boy and his mother are camping. The boy is just a little scared of jumping into the water. At the same time, not too far away, a hungry bear cub is a little scared of diving deep into a dumpster, where tasty snacks await.

Later, when the boy encounters a distraught mama bear sniffing around the dumpster, he’s very scared. But so is her bear cub, who is trapped inside! Bold, graphic artwork moves the narrative along in this mostly-wordless book full of sound effects and simple variations on a single phrase full of so many meanings (“He was scared”). Parallel stories of the mother and son, and mama and cub, come together when the campers, despite being scared, help rescue the cub from the dumpster.

This simple, moving story invites readers to observe expressions, body language, and details hidden in the illustrations to follow the narrative. It’s a sweet summer read that normalizes fear and encourages acting with courage and compassion—even when you’re scared. Andrée Poulin, Véronique Joffre
Regular price $17.95
Regular price Sale price $17.95

SKU: 206120n0nn1nWWW | ISBN: 9781771473651

"Conquering fears, helping others, and perhaps a message about wild animals and human garbage—though almost wordless, this book certainly says a lot." - Kirkus Reviews - STARRED REVIEW

“Relevant issues, such as emotional resilience, good stewardship, and challenging oneself, together with the thoughtful illustrations, make this a worthy purchase for libraries.” - School Library Journal

"This picture book...makes the great outdoors a little less scary." - The Globe and Mail

“A most enjoyable read. The details…will delight little ones who like to anticipate what might happen next.” - Sal’s Fiction Addiction

Best Books for Kids and Teens, 2019

Best picture books of the year, 2019

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Publication date

March 15, 2019

Number of pages


Interest age

From 3 to 7