What's So Scary?

What's So Scary?

by John Stadler, Stadler
     
 

The end is coming! But not soon enough for the canine hero of this madcap tale. He is supposed to be the main character in a bedtime story, Dog's Big Birthday Sleepover. But his illustrator is falling apart, and the cozy plot is quickly unraveling. "Keep going," the dog yells to his bewildered story companions. "Take it one page at a time." This topsy-turvy…  See more details below

Overview

The end is coming! But not soon enough for the canine hero of this madcap tale. He is supposed to be the main character in a bedtime story, Dog's Big Birthday Sleepover. But his illustrator is falling apart, and the cozy plot is quickly unraveling. "Keep going," the dog yells to his bewildered story companions. "Take it one page at a time." This topsy-turvy tale is an uproarious escapade and a sly behind-the-scenes peek at the place where chaos and creativity collide.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Have you ever awakened on the wrong side of the bed? In this picture book, our main character, Dog, goes one step beyond—he wakes up in the wrong story. Now he and a cast of twenty-six other nervous book characters must navigate their way through illustrator-inflicted peril in order to reach the right story before everyone reaches...the END. Author/illustrator Stadler has dreamed up quite an involved story, accompanied by an impressive array of expressive animals that interact with each other in a fantasy landscape. The story, however, doesn't really involve the reader. The illustrative viewpoint is imaginative, particularly because we only see the artist as a giant foot or hand. It is humorous, but much of the humor relies on a knowledge of classic and contemporary children's literature. While this book looks like a children's picture book, its story appeals primarily to adult book lovers and people whose profession or hobby relates to the creation of books. 2001, Orchard Books, $16.95. Ages 6 to 8. Reviewer: Dianne Ochiltree
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Upset that the illustrator has drawn him into the wrong book, a dog tries to get the story right before its conclusion. The artist, it seems, is a bit of a klutz and some spilled paint causes the cast of characters that he has just drawn to flee in terror. Finally, the pup takes matters into his own paws and draws an appropriate ending, which just happens to fit the story he thought he belonged in all along. The text is infused with funny one-liners, sight gags, and wordplay such as "If a tree falls in a book and no one is reading, does anybody know?" or "I've got a sinking feeling" as a boat is filling with water. A narrative strand involves a tortoise and a hare with amusing brief dialogue. The brightly colored illustrations make use of perspective in an imaginative and amusing way. The story itself is offbeat and clever. Younger readers may find it confusing, but visually sophisticated youngsters will appreciate the unusual premise.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Stadler's cartoonishly drawn characters escape both disaster and authorial control in this freewheeling romp. After newly-drawn Dog complains that he's not only alone on his birthday, but in the wrong story (a stiff letter of complaint from the publisher is visible nearby-"This is not the book we agreed on!") the obliging Author creates a confused herd of companions, then upsets the paint cans, sending all scrambling just ahead of a polychrome tsunami. A series of cliffhangers ensues, as the fugitives stampede over land and water, uttering comments like, "Is this If You Give A Moose A Muffin? I'm here for an audition," "If we're really animals, how come we can talk?," and "Who dresses that guy?" while the Author, or at least his bottom half, is seen struggling along in pursuit. Reaching "The End" (of the scenery, that is), Dog at last takes matters into his own paws, grabbing a brush and painting himself and his buddies into an oversized bed so that they can snuggle down for the sleepover they're supposed to be having. Readers who laughed at the contrary fairy-tale characters in Allan Ahlberg's Bravest Bear Ever (2000) will be mightily amused by this too. And for another take on this concept, see Bruce Whatley's Wait! No Paint (below). (Picture book. 6-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780531303016
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.14(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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