Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?

by Lauren Child
     
 

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Herb never imagined the dangers when he decided to scribble on and cut up his book of fairy tales. Drawing mustaches on the characters, pasting telephones into the rooms, and cutting out Prince Charming and the royal thrones had seemed like good fun. But then Herb never imagined he'd fall into the book one night. After contending with a petulant Goldilocks, a very… See more details below

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Overview

Herb never imagined the dangers when he decided to scribble on and cut up his book of fairy tales. Drawing mustaches on the characters, pasting telephones into the rooms, and cutting out Prince Charming and the royal thrones had seemed like good fun. But then Herb never imagined he'd fall into the book one night. After contending with a petulant Goldilocks, a very angry wicked stepmother, and a disappointed Cinderella, all Herb wants to do is find his way off the page. If only he can escape the book, he can make everything happily ever after again sort of. With exuberant collage illustrations and a hilarious text, award-winning author and illustrator Lauren Child has created a wild and irreverent romp through the land of fairy tales.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Child's (the Clarice Bean books) madcap m lange of recast scenarios features a boy who falls asleep on a page of his fairytale book. He awakens to find himself in a strange bed, being chastised by a girl who shrieks, "How dare you be on this page? I am the star and I say you are not allowed in this story!" and identifies herself as Goldilocks. Scooting downstairs, Herb runs "slap, bang, wallop!" into three bears, one of whom offers him porridge. Again the girl yells: "In case you pea brains have forgotten, this story is called `Goldilocks and the three bears' not `the little show-off in pajamas has breakfast.' " Soon, more comic twists emerge: a double foldout reveals a palace ball scene in which the queen sports a mustache (courtesy of Herb's earlier embellishments to his fairytale book; "So you're the doodler who ruined my looks," the queen quips) and both the throne and Prince Charming are missing (Herb has snipped them out with scissors). Though the narrative bogs down a bit with explanations of the boy's negligent treatment of his book, the slapstick comedy runs high. Back in his bedroom, Herb tries to repair the damage, yet he exacts sweet revenge on grouchy Goldilocks, drawing a padlock on the three bears' door to leave her forever stranded outdoors. Set into Child's droll, mixed-media collage art, the snappy text careens playfully across the spreads. A pleasantly warped, kid-pleasing romp. Ages 4-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Here's Herb of Beware of the Storybook Wolves off on another wild adventure by English author-illustrator Child, recent winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. When Herb falls asleep with his head on a page of his battered and scribbled fairy tale book, he wakes to find himself inside The Three Bears, being shrieked at by Goldilocks. Things get worse as Herb races past other storybook characters and into the double gatefold of a brilliant pink ballroom where he has caused havoc by snipping, pasting, and drawing moustaches on all the illustrations. Not only that�by putting pages back into his book wrong way around, he must converse with Cinderella's stepmother and sisters upside down. (Endlessly frustrating for Herb, this may also be confusing for younger readers.) Finding his way out of the book involves pasted-in telephones, a fairy godmother, and another encounter with Goldilocks, leading to a satisfying and amusing conclusion. In typefaces of different sizes and shapes, the words fall, climb, and swirl over the pages, while the manic pictures, drawn in blackest ink, are filled with bright color and collaged textures of all kinds�bricks, fabrics, cut-out foods and phones. Both listeners and readers can share the romp, although the upside-down parts may be hard to manage for a read-aloud. Kids should know the original tales to appreciate the zany fun in this cleverly designed picture book by an author who's getting a lot of attention for her work in Britain, where Who's Afraid first appeared. 2003, Hyperion, Ages 5 to 9.
— Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-When Herb falls asleep with his head on top of a dusty book of fairy tales, he finds himself stuck inside the volume with no quick way out. Chased by a raging Goldilocks, who is upset that he landed in her story, the boy journeys through a parade of fairy tales and finally gets caught in the middle of "Cinderella." All of his past mishandling of the book comes back to haunt him-Cinderella's kitchen is sticky with cookie crumbs, the Queen does not appreciate the mustache Herb has drawn on her face, and Prince Charming has been missing since he was cut out of the book and used as a birthday-card decoration. Child's wildly expressive collages include boldly patterned backgrounds, cartoon characters, and photographs in unexpected places. The text (and font) grows and shrinks and winds jaggedly through the story, and turns upside down on several pages. This fast-paced creative tale has some really funny moments. However, children may find it a bit frenetic. While Child's "Clarice Bean" titles (Candlewick) are grounded by that strong, familiar central character, here the disparate elements of the story sometimes feel as if they are literally flying off the edges of the pages.-Shelley B. Sutherland, Niles Public Library District, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A lad pays the price for misdeeds past when he falls into a mistreated story book. Child explores this salutary premise in big, scribbly collages made of clipped photos and wallpaper applied over a double gatefold of a formal ball and other fairy-tale scenes. Falling asleep over his reading matter, Herb finds himself an interloper in "The Three Bears," "Hansel and Gretel," and other classics. He gets a very hostile reception-no surprise, as he horns in on Goldilocks's big scene, and sees what's happened since he clipped out Prince Charming to make a card for his mother, drew a mustache on the prince's mother, and glued pictures of telephones onto every tale (look for them). Worse yet, thanks to careless reinsertion of some loose pages, Cinderella's family-and the dialogue balloons in which they express their extreme displeasure-are upside down. Happily, once Herb makes his escape up a tottering pile of text, he does his best to mend matters-for all but the irascible Goldilocks, that is. Big good book, indeed. (Picture book. 7-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780340805558
Publisher:
Gardners Books
Publication date:
07/17/2003
Edition description:
New
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 11.60(h) x 0.20(d)

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