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I wonder what scared you?

This story was written to help children and grown-ups (parents, teachers, and other important adults) understand how stress can affect children and ways to help them.

In the story, lots of little animals went through scary experiences, but they react in different ways. Turtle hides and gets a tummy ache, monkey clings, dog barks, and elephant doesn’t like to talk about it. They need help, and they get help from grown-ups who help them feel safe and learn ways to cope with difficult feelings.

Praise for Once I Was Very Very Scared

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A Look Inside

Please feel free to use these images for book reviews and promotional purposes.


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Free PDF Version

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A free PDF version  is available for use in trainings and for personal noncommercial use provided you honor the copyright and use guidelines on the download page.

Free Video Version

Listen to the story as read by the author. You may share this version in trainings, provided you follow the Use Guidelines.

Preschool Guide

New York State Pyramid Model and Book Nooks developed a lovely guide to support teachers in using the story. You can access the guide from their site.

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Once Symptom Screener

Both the symptom pictures and full screener are available by completing a brief survey. We are continuing to pilot and refine the tool and want to remain in contact with those using it to get feedback and provide  updates.

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Free Webinar

The animals from Once I Was Very Very Scared help us understand common reactions to stress and ways that we can support healing and recovery.

Free Webinar: Spanish

Los animalitos del libro "Una Vez Tuve Mucho Mucho Miedo" nos ayudan a entender reacciones comunes al estrés y  formas en que podemos apoyar a niños y a familias quienes han experimentado trauma.

Free Finger Puppets

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Free finger puppets of all the animals are available to help families tell their story.

Free Handouts

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Free handouts and coloring sheets.


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Our friends are featured on posters, mugs, phone cases and more. Visit our store to  learn more.

Other Piplo Books to Start Conversations About . . .

Difficult experiences
and feeling scared
Challenging separations
Feelings of anger and sadness
Family member mental health or addiction challenges

Trinka and Sam Stories

Free Series to Support Families After Disasters

Click on the image to learn more about the different Trinka and Sam story versions.

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Available Languages

Click on the image to access the different language versions


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PDF Only


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Turkish (PDF only)

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Available from Nhã Nam publishers in Vietnam
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Some of the Organizations Recommending Our Book

These are some of the organizations recommending our book on their websites. There are many others who are using our books widely in their program.  We share them because people often want to know if individuals and organizations have found our books to be useful. Community organizations, school districts, health organizations, government organizations, and national organizations are sharing and recommending our book.