The Little Bit Scary People
The Little Bit Scary People
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Annotation: Some people are a little bit strange or a little too loud, and just a little bit scary, but I bet, if you knew them, and knew their favorite things, you'd think that maybe, (probably) most people aren't so scary after all.
Catalog Number: #30514
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
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Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: Hyperion
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2008
Illustrator: Boiger, Alexandra,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 1-423-10075-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-21101-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-423-10075-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-21101-8
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 24 x 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Who hasn't met up with someone who looks scary? A girl with tousled red hair encounters a series of such people: a spike-haired dude on a skateboard, the nasty bus driver, the school principal with witchy fingernails, the stern cafeteria lady, the girl in science class who eats her pencil, and the corner policeman who scolds people. But when the girl imagines their other, warmhearted side, they're not quite as scary. But I bet the bus driver makes fancy breakfasts in the morning for her kids. But I bet, after school on Thursdays, the principal takes dancing lessons with her boyfriend. But I bet, before dinner, the punk teenage girl plays football with her little brothers and always lets them win. I know. Because she's my sister. The comic illustrations are just realistic enough, adding touches of humor for each imagined nice side that follows the page turn. Kids will readily relate, and parents will appreciate this fresh take on quelling kids' fears.
Horn Book
Children often find other people scary. Jenkins's red-pig-tailed narrator takes each of the book's seemingly frightening people in turn, positing theories that, for instance, the spiky-haired skateboarder "kisses his cat on the head." Boiger's paintings catch perfectly the balance established in the text: initially the scary person does look terrifying, but at the page turn a friendlier personality emerges.
Kirkus Reviews
A little red-haired girl observes that many of the people in her neighborhood and school seem a "little bit scary." There's the big boy on the skateboard who plays loud music, the bus driver who demands exact change, the imposing school principal with the long fingernails and the wacky music teacher who picks on kids who can't sing in tune. But are they actually scary? That cafeteria lady who limits kids to one milk probably jogs after school, singing out loud to show tunes on her headphones, and the school nurse who applies stinging lotion must play the piano as his kids "pile on his lap and pull on his ears" after work. The little girl realistically concludes that in their private lives and once you get to know them, these people probably aren't scary at all. Boiger's humorous watercolor-and-line illustrations capture the potentially scary characters from a variety of visual perspectives that reinforce the message that there's more than one way to see things. An amusing reality check for the easily intimidated. (Picture book. 3-6)
Publishers Weekly

Jenkins (Toys Go Out) and Boiger (While Mama Had a Quick Little Chat) offer a way to assuage worried children in this smart and sympathetic book. First to be described as “a little bit scary” is “the boy with thick eyebrows [who] rides his skateboard on the sidewalk and cranks the radio so loud, my dad yells out the window for him to turn it down.” Boiger endows him with a Mohawk and studded leather boots; the bottom of his skateboard has a skull on it. Turn the page, however, and the narrator envisions an entirely different scenario: “I bet when he wakes up in the morning, he kisses his cat on the head and scratches her neck until she purrs.” The redheaded heroine sits atop a dresser in this imaginary bedroom, which houses the would-be miscreant's scary regalia along with a pair of slippers just like the narrator's own. Continuing her rogues' gallery, the girl ends by imagining how her own family members might appear scary to others. Funny and wise. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 A shy girl confronts her fear of the many individuals who make her uncomfortable; for example: the school lunch woman who demands that each child take just one milk, the punked-out skateboarder with a loud boom box, and the school principal whose imposing figure looms large in the hallway. On one page, the child is depicted in a situation with the person who makes her apprehensive (such as the school nurse who is "a little bit scary"); but the flip of a page shows the youngster using her imagination, recasting the individual in a homey or less-threatening environment. She begins using the expression, "But I bet" to imagine the nurse making music with his children, the principal dancing with her boyfriend, and the skateboarder who "kisses his cat on the head and scratches her neck until she purrs." This could be a terrific book to begin a discussion about identity and forming opinions about others. It also offers students a way to feel empowered as they meet the demands of widening their world. Although most of the cartoonlike illustrations are lovely, one is an unfortunate disappointment: it depicts a black male with exaggerated facial features. Since proper racial representation is critical for children, the picture sadly mars this offering. Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA
Word Count: 513
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 127012 / grade: Lower Grades

Some people are a little bit STRANGE

or a little too LOUD, and  just
a little bit SCARY.
But I bet, if you knew them,
and knew their favorite things,
you'd think that maybe, (probably)
most people aren't so scary after all.

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