I Used To Be Afraid


Written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan/September 2015

Spiders can be scary, but their webs can be beautiful.
The dark can be scary, but it helps you see the stars.
Being alone can be scary, but you can always find comfort in unexpected places.
In this beautifully crafted book, a girl discovers that what seems scary at first can often become something wonderful.

CCBC Choices Best Books of 2016
Bank Street College of Education Best Books of 2015

starred review/Publishers Weekly
“Visually dramatic... Seeger uses striking acrylic hues, chunky shapes, and a resolute voice to suggest that fears (even those involving big brothers) can be overcome... This book suggests big determination.”

starred review/Kirkus Reviews
“Fresh... Lush... Striking... Clever... Honest... Outstanding.”

starred review/Horn Book
"Seeger uses rich color and intriguing die-cuts in a picture book that will resonate emotionally for many children... Enticing..."

School Library Journal
“A wonderful story to engender a discussion about being afraid and possibly even inspire its young audience to conquer their own fears.”

featured book/New York Times
“A cut-out on each spread adds emphasis to the shift in mood or perception when the page is turned, and the ending gently shows that fear can often be laughed away. Beautifully complex. Perfect for little hands.”

featured book/BookPage
"Rich... Wonder... Honest and straightforward, this is an engaging read for young children, especially those experiencing big transitions in life. Never fear: This is a book well worth your time."

featured book/Boston Globe
"Smartly designed... Transformative... The quiet genius of this book lies in its revelatory images."

Book of the Week/CCBC
"One of the marvelous things about Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s picture book is that it leaves plenty of space to think and talk about what is happening. Seeger is masterful at offering just the right amount of information and leaving it up to young readers and listeners to decide how to fill in the blanks."