Help your child overcome fears with "In the deep end"

First 5 Forever Cloud White

Our new range of Stories for Little Queenslanders books is designed especially for 0-5 year olds, and has been created by authors and illustrators connected to Queensland. 

In the deep end is written and illustrated by Charlie Thomson and tells the story of a child who loves going swimming but is scared of a "monster" that suddenly appears in the deep end of the pool (the monster turns out to be something many of us who grew up in Queensland can relate to!). It's an inspiring story of overcoming fear.

About the book

This rhyming picture book shows kids that communicating our feelings and fears with a trusted adult can put the world back into perspective.

The story reminds us that sometimes things aren’t always as they seem. It highlights two well-known fears for children: the creepy crawly in the pool, and the noise in the bath drain when the water is released.

Join Nat from State Library of Queensland as she reads In the deep end

Why is this a good book to share?

All sorts of everyday experiences such as swimming, the dark, storms, loud noises or dogs can make kids feel scared. Helping them learn words to express their feelings is a great way to help them deal with these emotions and share them with you for reassurance. They can learn these words and see how they can cope with or overcome their fears from a great range of picture books available from your local library.  

Reading books about fears or big feelings with a trusted adult can help children learn to manage the way they react to the things they are scared of and gives them a chance to chat about how they feel. 

When you're sharing the book, you might like to talk with your little one about big emotions. Let them know that it’s ok to feel sad, a bit afraid or cranky!

Ideas for sharing the book together

  • Start with the cover and talk about the scary monster face. Does it look like a real monster?
  • Don’t skip big words like gurgling, gasping, and grasping. These are great opportunities for them to learn some new words! Point to the pictures, demonstrate the sounds or make the actions to explain new words and use them again when opportunities arise.
  • Point out the S sounds in words like slithers, spits, hissssssses and swimming.
  • Talk about the boy’s facial expression and how he hides under the covers when he sees the pool monster. How do you think he’s feeling?
  • Ask children if they ever shiver and shake like the boy in the pool. Talk about what makes them nervous.
  • The boy tells his dad about his fear of the pool monster. What can your child do if they are a bit worried?
  • At the end of the story go back to the cover and talk about the picture of the pool monster now that you know what it is!

About the author and illustrator

This is Charlie Thomson’s debut picture book. His abstract illustrations use art materials readily available to children including paint, pens and pencils. He was inspired by his own children's experiences in overcoming their fears.

Hear Charlie Thomson talk about his work and the story behind In the deep end

Grab a copy from your local library, or read, watch or listen online. A whole new summer of local stories is waiting to inspire your family.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.
We also welcome direct feedback via Contact Us.
You may also want to ask our librarians.

Be the first to write a comment