Some Things Are Scary: No Matter How Old You Are
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Some Things Are Scary: No Matter How Old You Are [Hardcover]

Florence Parry Heide , Jules Feiffer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews Review

When cartoonist Jules Feiffer was little, he thought parents were scary. Florence Parry Heide's main fear was that she'd never learn how to be a real life grownup. (She never did, she says.) So, years later, these two star creators of children's books have teamed up to confront the things that go bump in the night (or day) in the splendid picture book Some Things Are Scary. This litany of frightfully familiar scenarios, brilliantly illustrated with Feiffer's scritchy, expressive cartoons, ranges from stepping on something squishy when you're in your bare feet to getting a shot to discovering that your hamster cage is empty. The encompassing fleshy arms of the woman in the depiction of "getting hugged by someone you don't like is scary" are positively smothering to behold. The rapidly moving arms (all seven of them) of the boy in "telling a lie is scary" image perfectly evokes the scittery discomfort of fibbing. Feiffer's distorted perspectives on the things that "loom large" capture a range of human emotion with his usual deftness. Kids will commiserate with the saucer-eyed boy as he skates out of control, is afraid he won't be picked for either team, or gets stuck high in a tree. And maybe things won't be so scary next time. (Ages 3 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this new edition of a 1969 manuscript, inventively illustrated by Feiffer (Meanwhile...), the hero demonstrates that some things are scary, and those same thingsDwhen they happen to someone elseDare darkly funny. When the panicky character zooms across a blindingly white spread on in-line skates ("Skating downhill when you haven't learned how to stop/ is scary"), the stressful situation is comical because it hits so close to home. Other suspenseful sequences depend on reversals of fortune: "Waiting to jump out and say BOO! at someone/ is scary," but so is "Waiting for someone to jump out and say BOO! at you..." Using childlike phrasing, Heide (The Shrinking of Treehorn) makes a list of anxiety-provoking moments-in-progress. She suggests that everyday problems ("Finding out your best friend has a best friend that isn't you/ is scary") can be as startling as daydreams ("Thinking what if you'd been born a hippopotamus/ is scary"). Feiffer's hyperactive sketches seek an edge between silly and horribleDnot unlike embarrassmentDand the design shows off the visual and verbal pacing. The frantic boy, always tiptoeing and suffering from indecision, floats in negative space and never comes to rest. With perceptive examples and over-the-top images of physical comedy, Heide and Feiffer acknowledge, and perhaps demystify, some shared fears. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-Not a story but a list of situations that can be physically and emotionally distressing, Heide's latest offering reassures children that they're not alone in their anxieties. Varying degrees of fearful circumstances are presented, ranging from "Getting hugged by someone you don't like" to "Being on a swing when someone is pushing you too high" to "Skating downhill when you haven't learned how to stop." A few of the "scary" predicaments are associated with a child's flight of fancy and serve to impart levity, but the majority of examples deal with children's very real concerns: getting a shot, not being picked for the team, having your best friend move away. Feiffer's sketchy pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork conveys a boy's appropriate reaction to each situation. A mix of picture sizes makes for interesting tableaux and creates surprises at each turn of the page. Use this title as a means of generating discussions with youngsters about what they find to be "scary."-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Florence Parry Heide is the award-winning author of more than fifty
children’s books, including the classic THE SHRINKING OF TREEHORN, illustrated by Edward Gorey, and THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR, co-authored by Sylvia Van Clief and reissued by Candlewick Press with new illustrations by Holly Meade. She says of SOME THINGS ARE SCARY, "What scared me as a child was that I’d never learn how to be a real live grownup - and the fact is, I never did find out how it goes."

Jules Feiffer is a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, a renowned playwright and screenwriter, and the illustrator of the children’s classic THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH by Norton Juster. He has also written and illustrated several other acclaimed children’s books. He says, "When I was a child, everything was scary - especially parents!"
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