The Scaredy Cats

Overview

Mama and Papa Scaredy Cat are not your ordinary felines. They're terrified of everything, and so they do nothing. They don't get dressed. They don't open mail. They don't even watch sunsets. Thankfully, Baby Scaredy Cat sees that not being brave at all is just plain silly....But can she help her scared parents find the courage to look at the brighter side of things?

When the Scaredy Cat family's fears keep them from doing things, Baby Scaredy Cat suggests they might...

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Overview

Mama and Papa Scaredy Cat are not your ordinary felines. They're terrified of everything, and so they do nothing. They don't get dressed. They don't open mail. They don't even watch sunsets. Thankfully, Baby Scaredy Cat sees that not being brave at all is just plain silly....But can she help her scared parents find the courage to look at the brighter side of things?

When the Scaredy Cat family's fears keep them from doing things, Baby Scaredy Cat suggests they might be missing good things as well.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
A family of felines spend the day being worrywarts in this zingy picture book from Barbara Bottner and illustrator Victoria Chess.

When Mr. and Mrs. Scaredy Cat awaken shivering due to an open window, the two fear that closing it will only lead to disaster: " 'It may fall on my fingers. They will turn blue!' " Suffering with their shivers, the Scaredy Cats think about waking up Baby (she gets up on her own after sunrise), and the three wind up spending the day in a panic: cooking breakfast might lead to accidental burns, opening a delivered package could mean broken toys, and lots more. But when Baby theorizes, "If all kinds of things can happen, can good things happen too?" at the end of the day, the Scaredy Cats wonder if maybe she's right, and they all hit the hay with dreams of "being brave tomorrow."

Bottner and Chess's snappy tale will have kids slapping their knees and thinking about courage. Bringing to mind Sue Denim and Dav Pilkey's The Dumb Bunnies and other stories about kooky families, The Scaredy Cats makes for a fun read-aloud that's filled with silly behavior and a gentle lesson. Young readers will develop lion hearts with these witty kitties around! Matt Warner

Publishers Weekly
Whenever Mr. and Mrs. Scaredy Cat contemplate doing something, they fret so much (All kinds of things can happen) that they end up doing nothing. The plump Mrs. Scaredy Cat doesn't close the window when she's cold because it might fall on her fingers. Mr. Scaredy Cat doesn't wake the baby because he's afraid she'll knock him over. Bottner's (Bootsie Barker Bites) premise is funny, but the text gets repetitious and the resolution seems pat: Baby Scaredy Cat rallies her parents by asking, If all kinds of things can happen, can good things happen too? Fortunately, Chess's (A Hippopotamusn't) densely saturated, wittily composed watercolors restore the drollery. The pictures depict not only what really happens to the three cats, but also what they imagine might happen. For example, Mr. Scaredy Cat is shown holding cheery Baby in his arms, and when she suggests that he toss her into the air, a bubble above his head illustrates his fears that he might throw the child too high or not be able to catch her. Chess's felines run the gamut of emotions in high style, and she furnishes their home with suitably catlike accoutrements. Along with inviting, cozy details (a wood-beamed ceiling, bright textiles and overstuffed sofas), she includes a fish-shaped planter, a bird in a bell jar, etc. As with Henry Allard and James Marshall's The Stupids, children will enjoy being braver than the Scaredy Cats themselves. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Mr. And Mrs. Scaredy Cat are a match for The Stupids. They are afraid of everything, from shutting the window when it is cold to cooking on the stove, as they imagine terrible consequences. Even Baby Scaredy Cat's innocent suggestions worry them. They are too afraid to accept a package from the postman, for whatever is inside could make them mad. Reading a story might make them tired; answering the ringing phone could mean listening to an angry landlord. Watching the sunset at the end of a day of being scared, cold, hungry, bored, mad, disappointed, worried and left out could also be dangerous, but so can going to sleep to face another bad day. They are paralyzed with fears that we can simply smile at. The Baby finally suggests that perhaps good things could also happen if they gave them a chance. They go to bed dreaming about being braver tomorrow. Chess's stolid watercolor feline figures dressed in their night clothes exude angst in neat rooms with overstuffed furniture. Their "what if" ideas are visualized in cloudy balloons. The incongruous scenes effectively stimulate giggles as the ridiculous examples of their fears add up. We feel sorry for this appealing family; we almost want to pet their fur to quiet their fears. An encouraging read to help any little "scaredy cats" overcome their nervousness with a little laughter. 2003, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Mr. and Mrs. Scaredy Cat wake up shivering, but closing the window means taking the risk of smashing their fingers, so they stay cold. Their fears escalate with each everyday activity-they skip breakfast because cooking might lead to burns, and they can't drive to town because the car goes so fast. They won't let Baby Scaredy Cat wear her new dress ("it might get a stain that will not come out"), and they even refuse to open the package they get in the mail, for fear of its contents. The miserable day continues into night, until finally Baby Scaredy Cat asks: "-if all kinds of things can happen, can good things happen too?" And so the three go to bed and dream of being braver the next day. Bottner's serious tone is a perfect counterpoint to the increasing ridiculousness of the Scaredy Cats' fears, and Chess pushes the story from funny to hilarious with her watercolor depictions of the wide-eyed, terrified felines. This delightful tale humorously makes the point that the greatest risk in life may be in not taking one.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The Scaredy Cats have managed to scare themselves into petrifaction in this droll, cumulative tale. Mr. and Mrs. Scaredy Cat wake to the new day; they are cold, but they don't want to shut the window because it might close on their fingers. So they shiver. They suggest that Baby Scaredy Cat not wear her new dress because it might get a stain on it, or cook breakfast because they might get burned, or drive the car to a restaurant because it goes too fast, or play bounce because someone might get hurt. They don't want to open the package delivered by the mailman because they might be disappointed, or read a story because it might be too long or too boring, or watch the sunset because it might hurt their eyes-classic Chess bug-eyes that accompany the finger-twisting and hand-clasping in her wonderful art. The slow accumulation of fears threatens to overwhelm them until Baby Scaredy Cat worries that "tomorrow I will be scared and cold and hungry and bored and mad and disappointed and worried and left out and tired-just like today." She wonders, "if all kinds of things can happen"-a constant refrain, applied in the negative-"can good things happen too?" Well, maybe. A funny and revealing look at our fears, how they can be blown out of proportion and rob us of life's comforts and pleasures, even if they do bite us on occasion. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781481421669
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 11/16/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Barbara Bottner is the author and illustrator of more than twenty books for children, including Bootsie Barker Bites, illustrated by Peggy Rathmann, and the early reader books, Marsha Makes Me Sick and Marsha Is Only a Flower, illustrated by Denise Brunkus. Ms. Bottner resides with her husband, Gerald Kruglik, in south Florida.

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