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Some Things Are Scary

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Overview

Know someone who’s starting school? Getting a new job? Going to the in-laws’ for the first time? For anyone on the brink of something scary, this gift edition of a hilarious classic is the perfect antidote.

You’re skating downhill, but you don’t know how to stop. You’re having your hair cut, and you suddenly realize . . . they’re cutting it too short. There’s no question about it: some things are scary. And never have common bugaboos been exposed with more comic urgency than in ...

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Overview

Know someone who’s starting school? Getting a new job? Going to the in-laws’ for the first time? For anyone on the brink of something scary, this gift edition of a hilarious classic is the perfect antidote.

You’re skating downhill, but you don’t know how to stop. You’re having your hair cut, and you suddenly realize . . . they’re cutting it too short. There’s no question about it: some things are scary. And never have common bugaboos been exposed with more comic urgency than in this masterful mix of things horrible and humiliating, monstrous or merely unsettling. Now in a compact edition with a new cover - and a bookplate that lets gift-givers specify the occasion - Florence Parry Heide’s witty text and Jules Feiffer’s over-the-top illustrations will get even the most anxious recipients laughing, while reassuring them (no matter how old they are) that they’re not alone in their fears.

A list of scary things includes "roller skating down hill when you haven't learned how to stop, getting hugged by somebody you don't like, and finding out your best friend has a best friend who isn't you."

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Being on a swing when someone is pushing you too high.... Getting hugged by someone you don't like.... Finding out your best friend has a best friend who isn't you." So many things are scary when you're a kid! In a masterful mix of things horrible and humiliating, monstrous or merely unsettling, this phenomenal book offers kids something most parents wish they could provide -- a sense of humor about life's scariest moments. Perfectly pitched to a kid's perspective, the witty text and edgy, hilarious illustrations reassure kids they're not alone in their fears.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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 things--when they happen to someone else--are 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 horrible--not unlike embarrassment--and 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. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Heide has her pen on the pulse of children. She knows what's scary—holding someone's hand who's not your mother, thinking you're not going to get picked for either team, being pushed too hard on a swing, or discovering your hamster cage is empty. She might as well have said "icky," too, as some of the scary things would be gross by second grade standards, like brushing your teeth with what you thought was toothpaste or being hugged by someone you don't like. Pfeiffer's scratchy colored pen and watercolor drawings capture the hapless, terrified, nonplussed boy who experiences all of these feelings of powerless knowledge. The book could spark a discussion of other scary things, or things that evoke strong emotion, and might make an interesting, revealing class book. Some subsection of the group, though, would probably find it more comfortable to concentrate on their version of "Some Things are Terrific." It also could be a good picture book for older children as it would evoke memories of previous scary childhood experiences plus perhaps some discussion of the really scary things middle schoolers face. 2000 (orig. 1969), Candlewick, $15.99. Ages 4 to 7. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
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 2002 Cahners Business Information.
People
A quirkily accurate look at kid fears (ooh, getting hugged by someone you don't like!) enlivened by cartoonist Feiffers fanciful art.
Pinder
The items in this list of fears first published in 1969 ring true (''Being on a swing when someone is pushing you too high is scary.'' ''Telling a lie is scary''), but the new illustrations by the cartoonist Jules Feiffer, ever a perceptive chronicler of the human condition, are the stars of this edition...the children Feiffer draws leap off the page, reflecting the range of feelings from puzzlement to terror.
New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763655907
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 7/12/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 239,575
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD110L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.16 (w) x 10.03 (h) x 0.21 (d)

Meet 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2002

    It book is wonderful

    I have the original edition that was printed in 1969. It frist belong to my uncle,then my oldest sister, then the middle sister and finally i ended up with it. Resently I have passed it on to my two nephews. They love this book and as I read it they finsh the sentence with 'is scary'. I think it helps them to see not eveerything is as scary as it first may appear.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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