Why Are We Afraid? was a poignant picture book with stunning illustrations exploring the titular question. Offering an insight into the way fear affects people from all walks of life, the book does a good job exploring the ways fear can infiltrate the smallest cracks in our lives, and for children especially, demonstrates how our parents are not immune to being afraid.
This book explores fear and why we are afraid. The illustrations are a bit spooky and weird but match the tone of the book. The book ends with some background information for adults about fear. I could see sharing this book with a young child wondering about fear. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this book.
A young boy asks his father about fear. What follows is a sort of philosophical overview of what we’re afraid of, why, and how to live with it.
This was a good stepping-off point for my child and I to have a talk about fear. I’m sure other kids–particularly those who might feel embarrassed about being afraid of something–would also enjoy having a discussion about their own fears, and discovering their grown-ups’ fears.
Some of the images here may be genuinely scary, for a kid. Most notably, there’s a page where the fear is tragically real: a scene of bombs being dropped on a city. My kid didn’t clock this, but be prepared to have a more difficult conversation with your child, if they notice. (Difficult conversation books are important, I just wasn’t expecting warzones to be covered in this particular book.)
Advanced reader copy provided by the publisher.
This book looks at common fears, people have, and why this makes them afraid. It starts with a power outage and a child learning that fears are important, but they can always be defeated. The illustrations in this book are simply beautiful and are a joy to look at when turning page to page. The story is well done and is a great example of why fear is OK. Overall, this book is lovely and there will be some who want to read it over and over again.
This is a good enumeration of the things that one must be afraid of but shouldn't. Author tells how fear affect us and why we shouldn't be afraid at all. However, we all keep our some kind of fear and this is with all but we must overcome those fears.
Poetic as well as realistically moral.
This is a great book with lots of information about #fear, why we feel it, and how it is a valid emotion for kids to have. I appreciated the topic as it's not one you normally see in children's books. My son is 4 and he didn't love all the pictures, so I think this book is better for a slightly older child. However, the message is great and I think it's an important read!
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC of this title.
I loved this book. I think it would be great for mid-upper elementary or maybe even intermediate grades. The illustrations are beautiful and the list of reasons people can be afraid have a lot of depth and levels and will mean more or older reasons. Lovely book, I highly recommend!
In a Nutshell: A lovely children’s picture book about accepting fear as a valid emotion. Scary artwork though.
This book was originally published in Spanish under the title ‘Per què tenim par?’ in 2022. This is the English translation, coming in June 2023.
The premise is quite simple. During a power cut, Max is watching the flame of the candle lit by his dad when he suddenly asks his father if has ever been afraid. Max’s dad thinks about his son’s query for a moment, and then launches into his response, covering the fact that adults too feel fear, and a list of things that can scare people. The story ends with the lights coming back on, in various ways.
I liked the structure of this book. The setup involves a parent confessing that he also has been afraid sometimes, which is so important for kids to know. It justifies fear as an actual emotion, and shows that it is okay to be afraid, and that fears are nothing to do with age. In a way, having a father admitting his fears is even more impactful as kids tend to see their dads are brave superheroes who aren’t afraid of anything.
The book covers all kinds of fears, ranging from imaginary monsters to actual events to irrational feelings. The power of fear is never dismissed; instead, the book highlights the importance of embracing the fear and never giving up. However, I must also point out that a major chunk of the book is dedicated to the titular question: “Why are we afraid?” The part about dealing with fears covers barely 1-2 pages.
My favourite line: “Sometimes, we’re afraid because the real monsters aren’t under the bed after all.”
The equivalence of fear with darkness is also brilliantly done. It uses the metaphorical dark vs. light to show how fears can diminish by shining the light of positivity on them. There is also a special note at the end titled “Shining the light on fear”, which talks about the types of fears and the lessons we can learn from our fears.
The illustrations match the above feel, keeping all the hues on the darker side as if to intensify the impact and the mystery of fears. A part of me feels that the artwork was too scary. Perhaps, this was deliberate. But considering that the book was written for children who might have fears, the art could have a counter-effect as well.
The book is aimed at readers aged 3-7 years, and the language and style will work wonderfully for the elder lot of this age range. The content might be a bit too metaphorical for the younger ages. That said, this book can serve as a great conversation starter for kids aged 6+ because every page offers tremendous discussion opportunities.
Definitely recommended. Because of the theme, this would be a nice addition to home libraries as well as classrooms. But do keep the scary illustrations in mind if your child is sensitive.
My thanks to Kids Can Press and NetGalley for the DRC of “Why Are We Afraid?”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.
I really enjoyed the author's previous book, "Why Do We Cry?," but this one misses the mark. The illustrations are scary in and of themselves, with strange creatures, glowing eyes, sharp teeth, and creepy distortions. Also, the father's answers about why we experience fear as so abstract and poetic that they don't actually answer the question, and won't help a child resolve their fears or their questions about the world. The author's note at the end is more helpful, but this book will scare fearful kids instead of helping them, and this is mainly just for kids who actually like creepy, scary things.
Why Are We Afraid? is a children's book intended to help them overcome fears. The art style was unique and while it would usually be too "scary" for a children's book, it felt like it fit in with the theme of this one.
One thing that I didn't like were the open quotation marks on many pages. I know it's likely because the speaker was continuing, but since it spanned over multiple pages it felt disconnected and inconsistent.
Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest review!
I received a free digital copy from the author.
"Why Are We Afraid?" by Fran Pintadera and Ana Sender is a beautiful and poignant exploration of fear, its many forms, and how it affects us. The book's story revolves around Max, who asks his father if he has ever been afraid after a thunderstorm knocks out their power. Max's father explains to him that everyone experiences fear, and he goes on to enumerate the many different things that can make us afraid.
The book's poetic text and stunning imagery make for an entrancing picture book about emotions. It helps young readers understand and process their fears and shows them that fear is a normal part of life. It also makes clear that identifying our fears is an essential step in accepting and moving past them.
The book is an excellent choice for lessons on social-emotional learning, and it can serve as a conversation starter for parents and teachers to discuss different types of fear and how to cope with them. The back matter of the book includes informative content about the different types of fear, the purpose and usefulness of fear, and an activity to further explore some of the story's key concepts.
Overall, "Why Are We Afraid?" is a touching and insightful book that can help children and adults alike better understand and cope with their fears. It's a must-read for anyone who wants to teach children about emotions and the importance of emotional intelligence.
I would love a physical copy of this book.
For the most part, Why Are We Afraid is an effective conversation starter that addresses the many layers and nuances of a universal emotion. The illustrations were beautiful, if not quite scary at times (as other reviewers have pointed out). While I liked the spooky vibe, I definitely would've had nightmares if I'd read this as a child. Again, I'll be echoing other reviewers when I point out that some of the story elements and visuals seemed too abstract for the target audience, and maybe it was just the review copy I got, but the story started abruptly without a good set-up into the whole concept. Despite these flaws, I still think this book is a worthwhile read.
Do you recall the highly acclaimed “𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘋𝘰 𝘞𝘦 𝘊𝘳𝘺?” Now here comes another one from the creators, “𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗔𝗿𝗲 𝗪𝗲 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗱?”
If you thought “𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘋𝘰 𝘞𝘦 𝘊𝘳𝘺?” touched the zenith, “𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗔𝗿𝗲 𝗪𝗲 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗱?” goes way, way beyond! Expressed in the form of a father-son discussion on a night when lights in Max’s house go out, it is everything about being vulnerable as Max’s father describes ‘fear’ and its myriad causes. It begins with Max posing a simple question, “𝘋𝘢𝘥, 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘥?”
Max’s father explains that fear is sometimes caused by the unknown, while at times, loud words can evoke fear or being lonely could be a reason. One can be afraid of the unknown, or of falling short but some people mask their fears. My favourite – “𝘚𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘦’𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯’𝘵 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭” – with an illustration of a place being bombed; and another equally evocative line, “𝘞𝘦’𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦, 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘰𝘸𝘯𝘦𝘥.”
Now readers, tell me, is there any way you can stop yourself from pre-ordering this gem?
The questions that arise in childhood are often just as poignant in our adult years. Sometimes, the answers are clear; sometimes they make sense to us & we can understand our feelings. In other cases, we find ourselves worried; set against ourselves & the way our minds seem to reel against common sense. Why are we afraid of the dark? Are there monsters under the bed? What purpose does fear serve? Is it okay to be afraid?
The illustrations in this book welcome the reader into the world from a different point of view. The colour palette of deep greens & blues paints the landscape into a dream sequence brought to life. Ana Sender has an unparalleled ability to open the words of the author up into art. Her talent brings these discussions to light in ways that remind us that, no matter our age, the lessons shared within this book are of value. It is okay to be a learner at every age & it is okay to be afraid.
What I appreciate so much about Pintadera’s work is his dedication to his medium. When I first read one of his books I was blown away by how easily he was able to host answers to complicated questions & I found myself appreciative of the opportunity to have read his book. This second time around is no different. Fear is just as important an emotion as any other & yet, we are sometimes meant to feel as though it is a burden; something we should not admit to experiencing.
This book encourages readers to understand why we are afraid. Sometimes, we might think that the goons of our nightmares wander the halls at night when in reality, it’s just the house easing from all the movements it fostered throughout the day. Other times, our fears keep us safe. In either case, we do not need to feel embarrassed or shy; our feelings are powerful conductors that should be appreciated.
Young readers will find an eternal gift in Pintadera’s work. There are answers for every reader in this book & it is certainly an adventure worth taking, on a dark & stormy night, just as the uncertain little main character did when he thought to ask about fear.
Thank you to NetGalley, Kids Can Press, & Fran Pintadera for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Why Are We Afraid? by Fran Pintadera; Ana Sender - 4/5
I read this story tonight for my 7-year-old and 5-year-old. They enjoyed the story, and my 7-year-old loved the illustrations. They are different in such a brilliant and eye-catching way that kept her looking and pointing for which seemed like forever. We all enjoyed the discussion points at the end of the story. It added moment to reflect on the story and answer any questions they had.
A good book for kids about being afraid. That we can afraid about future, afraid of the unknown or because we cant control our future. With a great illustration i think everyone will be happy to read that.
This book came to me at just the right time- my daughter has been struggling with anxiety and irrational fears and this was the perfect book for her. Through a conversation between a father and son, Pintadera outlines and explains a number of basic fears as well as the reasons behind them. The words are gentle and basic enough for children to understand. The illustrations in this book are amazing- imaginative, colourful and engaging. I also really appreciated the descriptions of fear at the back of the book that were directed toward parents and the activities parents could do with their children. I would highly recommend this book for any child struggling with worry or anxiety.
(I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.)
Kiddo (8) and I really enjoyed this. He was able to connect some of his own fears to the story and the discussion questions found at the end.
The story was very sweet - a young boy asks his father if he's ever been afraid, and his father says yes, and then tells him about all the different types of fear.
The illustrations were my favorite part - they are gorgeous. The style is a little bit surreal, not bothering with proper proportions or accurate depictions, which gives the whole thing a dreamlike quality. They are painted - I think with goache - but kiddo remarked that they looked like a collage, which they do. The colors are the best part. They are rich and bold and darker than one usually gets in kids books, emphasizing the many different fears depicted.
I also really liked the discussion points at the end, which elaborates on why we feel fear and the different types of fear and their uses.
I think this book could be very helpful to kids with big fears so they can see that they aren't alone and see how their fears can be categorized into one of the types that many people have.
Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for providing an early copy for review.
I got this on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!
I had previously read "Why do we cry?" and loved it, so when I say that this was also a thing I just HAD to request it to read it asap! And it was just as great as the previous one!!!
Such a reflective, casual and deep book, with wonderful examples and illustrations! Can't wait to recommend it to everyone, and for the physical copy I just ordered to arrive so I can have it available on my shelves!
I thought this book took an interesting approach to fear. It doesn't just try to explain fear with things that kids are afraid of. It goes deeper to explain the different reasons why people are afraid.