My oldest child has always been a social butterfly. I knew from a young age we’d have to talk about interacting with strangers — early and often. I aim to be more free range in my parenting, so I knew I would have to equip him with the skills with dealing with strangers if I wasn’t right next to him. Of course, books were the first place I turned.
Finding a good book about “stranger danger” is tricky. I didn’t want my child to end up in a dangerous situation, but I also wanted him to know who he could turn to if he found himself alone and in need of help. The topic is more nuanced than “don’t talk to strangers.” I also didn’t want to scare my child by making him think there were predators lurking around every corner.
These books about strangers are the books I felt struck a healthy balance between caution and compassion. I highly recommend reading them with your kids as part of a larger discussion about personal safety. Start talking about these things early, and review them often!
4 Books About Dealing With Strangers
Once Upon a Dragon: Stranger Safety for Kids (and Dragons) by Jean E. Pendziwol — This was our family’s favorite book about how to deal with strangers. It differentiates between safe strangers like police offers, and strangers children should be wary of, and the story is told in a way that is truthful but not scary.
The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers by Jan and Stan Berenstain — This classic story goes over some basic rules for safety that are easy for kids to remember. I really like this book because it focuses on making good decisions no matter the situation.
Not Everyone is Nice by Frederick Alimonti — After Kathy has an encounter with a stranger, her parents have a talk with her about now not everything that looks nice is really nice, using examples from nature. This book is a great choice for school-aged children.
Staying Safe Around Strangers by Lucia Raatma — This non-fiction book is a straightforward look at how kids can keep themselves safe when dealing with strangers. This is another book that is most appropriate for school-aged children, and would be a great resource for teachers, libraries, and community centers.