Author and artist Tomi Ungerer broke the rules of American children’s literature in the 1950s and ’60s. He and longtime friend Maurice Sendak [Where the Wild things Are] were told that their work was too frightening for children. Ungerer doesn’t mind scaring kids because he believed in their ability to cope and adapt to life’s difficulties. Today on Fresh Air he explains the difference between fear and anxiety:
To be scared is one thing; anxiety is another one. … If you are in a battle and you have bombs and bullets and shrapnel and everything is going up in the air, that’s why you can be scared. But it doesn’t really compare to the anxiety. You see, the anxiety … is something much deeper in a way, because it sticks to you all the time. Are we going to make another day? Are we going to be arrested? … It’s all the impending menace, you know, all the time, all the time. And that’s anxiety. I find anxiety worse than fear.
photo by Stephan Vanfleteren via Tomi Ungerer