Scary Fright, Are You All Right?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a 7" 9" chapter book format, first-timer Gibala-Broxholm presents a monster family with an interesting problem. Their young daughter, Scary Fright, starts acting strangely one Friday the 13th: she craves pizza rather than slime, and sings "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" instead of howling at the moon. Her behavior shocks her parents ("Good goblins! What's next?"), who bring her straight to Doctor Ghastly. The examination reveals that Scary has "Human-i-tis," contracted from contact with a human playmate. A little monstrous medicine fixes everything. Well, almost Scary still wants to go home and play with her pet kitten. The gags here make the Munsters-ish story work. Mama's eyes pop out (literally) when she hears about the pet kitten ("Well, you can have it for dessert," she says at first, "But only if you've eaten all your slime"). Doctor Ghastly looks Scary over "from head to tail," and listens "to both her hearts beat." Gibala-Broxholm's inventive watercolor spot art, framed panels and full-bleed paintings brim with monstrous touches. Toy coffins and tombstone-shaped telephones litter the monster family's home and a skeleton version of Grant Wood's American Gothic hangs on a wall. Kids will love the backwards monster-think ("Sweet nightmares," Papa says at bedtime) and the new twist on the theme of unconditional love ("No matter what you do," Mama tells Scary, kissing her at bedtime, "we still think you are a terrible monster"). 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Meet Scary Fright, her parents, and little brother, Boo. The youngster has always been a perfectly bad monster, but she is changing, and her folks are becoming worried. She suddenly likes kittens (but not, as her mother suggests, for dessert), says "please" and "thank you," and enjoys drawing butterflies and rainbows on her wall. Her appalled parents take her to Doctor Ghastly, who diagnoses "Human-i-tis," which Scary caught while playing with human children. Can she be cured? Young readers will get a kick out of this tale of a girl who gets sent to her room for being good and is told, "Don't stomp out until you can behave like a monster." Pencil-and-watercolor illustrations detail the Fright family's life and home: a framed picture of skeletons, a plant with eyes and lips, bone drawer handles. Just enough gross-out humor will keep children entertained: there's pizza made of slimy moss, fleas, and beetles; a mother whose eyes actually pop out when she's surprised; and a crib headboard made from a tombstone. Four brief chapters and large type make this book accessible to young readers. A good choice for children who want to read about monsters but don't really want to be frightened.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Not just for Halloween, packed with silly spooky humor, Gibala-Broxholm's debut promises readers year-round delight. The story opens on Friday the 13th as Scary Fright ("a perfect monster") comes home after playing with a new friend. Her behavior is peculiar-she takes in a kitten ("WHAT is that THING?" her father asks; "you can have it for dessert," says her mom), chooses pizza over spiderweb soup, and draws pictures of rainbows and butterflies instead of dragons and ghosts. Her parents take her to see Doctor Ghastly, who listens to both her hearts beat. Her diagnosis: an acute case of "Human-i-tis." The cure: a bubbling brew of a bug with a sprinkle of witches' warts and 13 teardrops from a dragonfly's eyes. Or else, she might start playing in the sun and drinking chocolate milk. With three sections and a roughly 6 x 9 trim size, the work has the feel of a chapter book and will appeal to youngsters in transition to reading for themselves. Executed with pencil and watercolor wash, a blend of framed vignettes, spot art, and full-bleed illustrations make it a good bet for group sharing. This one's a crowd pleaser, no matter the season. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803725881
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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