Monday, August 8, 2011


Written by Florence Parry Heide

Illustrated by Jules Feiffer

(Candlewick Press, 2000)

This book is one long list of things that are, yes, scary. Who can’t relate to that? It is a perfect springboard to talking about our own fears. Acknowledging them is the first step, isn’t it? But then, knowing what you’re afraid of and not having a clue how to deal with it is scary...

Illustrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer, the images have a classic look to them. Take a quick flip through just to look at the unnamed boy’s eyes, which alternate between popping out, blurring and seemingly retreating.

Readers will be hooked from the first page, the words “Getting hugged by someone you don’t like is scary” accompanied by a drawing of a huge, red-dressed, red-lipped woman smothering the helpless boy in her arms. There are examples of funny-scary such as “Skating downhill when you haven’t learned how to stop is scary.” And then there are serious, heart-wrenching kinds of scary: “Finding out your best friend has a best friend who isn’t you is scary.”

It is a quick book that may become frequently requested bedtime reading. I can envision families adding their own amusing and realistic scary ideas that can be interwoven with the text. As well, students could brainstorm and create a class sequel, Some Other Things Are Scary. So much potential: fishhooks, math tests, liver and onions. I could go on. How about you?

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