Once I Was Very Very Scared: A Storybook & Resources to Understand and Manage Fear

“Once I Was Very Very Scared” is a thoughtful resource designed to assist children, families, and professionals in understanding and managing reactions to stressful or frightening situations. The story introduces us to a little squirrel who shares his experience of being very, very scared, and soon discovers he is not alone. Various animals, including a turtle with a tummy ache from hiding, a clinging monkey, a barking dog, and an elephant who prefers not to talk about his fears, reveal that they too have faced scary experiences but reacted in their own unique ways.

This narrative aims to open doors to conversations about difficult experiences, the many ways individuals may respond to fear, and strategies for coping with challenging emotions. Moreover, it discusses the importance of feeling safe and connected after facing such experiences. By exploring these themes, the book becomes an invaluable tool for initiating discussions about emotions, coping strategies, and resilience, making it particularly beneficial for therapists, social workers, educators, caregivers, and families.

PDF Storybook Once I was very scared

Download a free PDF version of the storybook from Piplo Productions website. 

PDF storybook Once I Was Very Very Scared-thumbnail

Handouts & Coloring Sheets

Download the accompanying handouts and colouring sheets from Piplo Productions website.

Handouts Coloring Sheets free downloads story about worrying and fear


Preschool Guide

Download a PDF guide to support teachers in using the story from NYSECAC website.

Preschool Guide Once I Was Very Very Scared

Finger Puppets

Download free finger puppets that all children and families could use to tell their story.

Finger Puppets Story about Emotions

Video Storybook Once I was very scared

Listen to the story as read by the author.

More about the resource: 

The book and its accompanying resources also serve as an educational guide for adults, providing insight into how stress and trauma can affect a child’s behaviour and emotional health. It underscores the significance of understanding, empathy, and support from grown-ups in helping children feel safe and learn effective ways to manage difficult feelings.

In essence, “Once I Was Very Very Scared” is crafted to help both children and adults comprehend the impacts of stress and discover ways to support each other. Its engaging narrative, relatable characters, and practical messages about emotional health, coping mechanisms, and the value of supportive relationships make it a key resource for anyone looking to address the topics of fear, stress, and emotional recovery in a compassionate and insightful manner.

By focusing on the shared experiences of the animals and their journey towards feeling safe and understood, the story highlights the importance of talking about our fears and learning together. It is an essential resource for fostering discussions on how to navigate difficult emotions and experiences, ensuring children know they are not alone in their feelings and that there are ways to feel better with the help of caring adults.