Celebrating children’s fears

A spread from Luis and the Enchanted Creatures (Marcy Dans Lee)

A spread from Luis and the Enchanted Creatures (Marcy Dans Lee)

It is important that books for children address children’s experiences. This includes their fears. Children often fear the strange and unfamiliar—all the monsters and scary creatures that lurk in the dark, unknown.

Even adults are sometimes guilty of exploiting children’s active imaginations, with the hope of keeping them from potential harm. And though fear may make children more cautious about what they do, too much fear could keep children from trying and discovering new things.

So why not, instead of making fear functional, we celebrate fear as a completely normal human emotion? And what could be timelier than reading scary books for the upcoming Halloween?

One important reminder, though, in choosing scary books is that the book should do more than send chills down the reader’s spine. Scary books should not be feeding children’s fears, but should help children overcome or diminish the power of what scares them. Therefore, choose books that address their fears while entertaining or teaching them something new.

Here are some of our books that do that:

  • Si Ching na Takot sa Dilim. This book tackles Ching’s fear of the dark. He believes that scary creatures come out of the darkness. The book not only recognizes children’s fear, it also suggests a way of conquering this fear by looking at things differently.
  • Ang Tikbalang Kung Kabilugan ng Buwan. This story tells how a tikbalang tried to befriend other Philippine lower mythological creatures but fails to do so until he finds a tikbalang just like himself. Children’s fear of supernatural creatures is used in the story to show kids the importance of friendship.
  • Luis and the Enchanted Creatures. The book changes a common perception that our lower mythological creatures are scary. Instead, it presents a funny and insightful depiction of these creatures while teaching kids not to judge anyone by their physical appearance.
  • Bru-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha… Bru-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi. This story also tries to show that physical appearance does not mirror someone’s personality most especially with any old woman, as one character in the story shows.
  • Ang Lihim ng San Esteban. This novel tours the readers around the old houses and ‘ghosts’ of San Esteban in Ilocos. The book shows that the stories of Filipinos during the Japanese occupation are just as exciting as any horror story.

On Saturday, October 26, please join us as we celebrate scary stories with a storytelling session and free treats for children who will come in costume to Multuhan sa Adarna!

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