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Not Very Scary
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Not Very Scary

1.0 1
by Carol Brendler, Greg Pizzoli (Illustrator)
 

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Melly is a brave little monster who is not afraid of anything. She loves surprises, and when her fun-loving cousin invites her over for a big surprise, Melly excitedly sets out for a visit. On her way, she notices skittish skeletons, a coal-black cat, and even ghoulish goblins following her. But Melly is not scared, no she's not! Well, maybe just a teensy bit . . .

Overview

Melly is a brave little monster who is not afraid of anything. She loves surprises, and when her fun-loving cousin invites her over for a big surprise, Melly excitedly sets out for a visit. On her way, she notices skittish skeletons, a coal-black cat, and even ghoulish goblins following her. But Melly is not scared, no she's not! Well, maybe just a teensy bit . . .

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Maria Russo
…a clever hybrid of story and counting book…
Publishers Weekly
★ 07/28/2014
In a delightful Halloween romp that’s part counting book, part tongue twister, Brendler and Pizzoli introduce a green-skinned monster named Melly who is heading to her cousin Malberta’s house for a “surprise.” Along the way, Melly realizes an entourage is growing behind her, starting with a “coal-black cat with an itchy-twitchy tail,” which Melly dismisses as “not the least bit scary.” But then come “two skittish skeletons,” “four mournful ghosts,” and “seven frenzied fruit bats,” and suddenly Melly isn’t feeling so brave. Pizzoli crams the pages with comically ghoulish chaos, and his smiley creatures (Melly included) are more cute than bloodcurdling. Amid the mounting tension (which results in an epic party), readers also get a crash course in adverbs: “Not significantly scary!” says Melly when six mummies show up. “Not especially scary!” she shouts on the next page. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

“A clever hybrid of story and counting book, ending with the adorably drawn creepy-friendly crowd gathering for a Halloween bash.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Pizzoli crams the pages with comically ghoulish chaos, and his smiley creatures (Melly included) are more cute than bloodcurdling.” —Starred review/Publishers Weekley

“This cumulative Halloween tale is bursting at the seams with things that go bump in the night.” —The Horn Book

“This fast-paced read aloud will suit the many young listeners interested in just a dash of spookiness with their Halloween adventures.” —School Library Journal

“A terrific Halloween title to share with those readers who prefer giggles to shivers.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A fine, not-too-scary choice for reading aloud in the weeks before Halloween.” —Booklist

Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
It is Halloween, and Melly has been invited to her cousin Malberta’s house for a “surprise!” The atmosphere is spooky as Melly sets out on her path, and she has hardly started when she realized someone is following her! It turns out to be a “coal-black cat with an itchy-twitchy tail.” That is “not the least bit scary,” Melly decides as she continues on her journey. But the cat is not the only follower; there are also “two skittish skeletons,” and later “three wheezy witches,” “four mournful ghosts,” and so on. Each turn of the page adds another batch of Halloween denizens and countdowns all of the followers to that point. It also provides a fresh denial of fear from Melly (e.g., “not remarkably scary,” “not significantly scary”), even as she looks progressively more fearful as the story continues. The story culminates with Melly’s arrival at Malberta’s door. The surprise? A party! But no guests are there—they have all been following Melly. It is a sweet ending indeed when Melly realizes these are Malberta’s friends, and the party can begin! Readers will enjoy identifying each spooky addition to the party crowd, as well as chiming in with the countdown—especially that “coal-black cat with the itchy-twitchy tail.” This is one Halloween book the kids will ask for over and over again. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green; Ages 3 to 8.
School Library Journal
08/01/2014
PreS-Gr 2—Melly encounters some unexpected visitors when she walks to her cousin Malberta's Halloween party. As she wanders down the street, she first meets a black cat ("not the least bit scary"), then a duo of dancing skeletons, and her ever-so-slight creeps and chills grow. The list of spooky creatures builds and builds as Melly continues her evening stroll. Her dynamic expressions correspond with the goblins and ghouls around her. Melly responds, "Not especially scary!" when "seven frenzied fruit bats" appear on the scene, and her comments increase in urgency; she cries, "Not extraordinarily scary!" when she stumbles across "eight spindly spiders." Melly is a sight to behold with her sharp horns, green face, and striped stockings; she looks like she fits right in with the cast of only oh-so-eerie characters she meets along the way. When she arrives at the festivities, she realizes that her accompanying menagerie includes friendly partygoers instead of the spooky haunts she believed them to be. This fast-paced read aloud will suit the many young listeners interested in just a dash of spookiness with their Halloween adventures.—Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC
Kirkus Reviews
2014-07-16
Monster Melly is invited to her cousin Malberta's house "on the scariest night of all." On her way, she notices she is being followed. Why? More importantly: by what? Melly looks pleasant enough for a young monster, with her striped horns and fanged smile. What surprise could her cousin have in store for her? She has no time to think about that, as one "coal-black cat with an itchy-twitchy tail" seems to be stalking her. Melly tells herself bravely it is "Not the least bit scary." The following spreads reveal an increasing number of spooky characters following her. "[T]wo skittish skeletons" and "three wheezy witches" join the procession in turn, until "ten vexing vultures" round out the silly and not-so-scary group of creepy characters. But by the time Melly rings Malberta's doorbell, her teeth are chattering with fear. Her three-eyed cousin opens the door to welcome her to a surprise party. But the true surprise is that all the other guests are right behind her! Brendler's cumulative tale uses silly rhymes and humorous descriptions to make this counting adventure one that invites participation. Geisel winner Pizzoli (The Watermelon Seed, 2013) chooses a muted palette of oranges, browns, greens and purples to allow the whites—on Melly's horns, cheerful ghosts and friendly skeletons—to glow. A terrific Halloween title to share with those readers who prefer giggles to shivers. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374355470
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
08/12/2014
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
716,242
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Carol Brendler is the author of Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer, illustrated by Ard Hoyt. She lives in Arlington Heights, Illinois, with a very brave husband and three cats, one of which is a coal-black scaredy-cat.

Greg Pizzoli is an author and illustrator from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is not very scared of cats, skeletons, or mummies, but spiders are a different story.

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Not Very Scary 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
PettyRoe More than 1 year ago
This book is similar in concept to books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, where the intent is to have one of "this" followed by two of "that", then three of something else, and so on... However, the assortment of items chronicled in this story is difficult for a young child to relate to. If you are looking for a book to read and re-read with your child this is not a good choice. I'm sorry I spent the money on this one-time read.