Can't Scare Me!
Can't Scare Me!
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Annotation: A fearless little boy ignores Grandma's warning about nighttime monsters until he runs away and meets the two-headed giant's three-headed brother.
Catalog Number: #75032
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
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Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: Atheneum
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Pages: 40
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 1-442-47657-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-72808-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-442-47657-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-72808-0
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2013001490
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
At first glance, this feels like a familiar cautionary tale in which the small boy who fears nothing will learn a lesson in humility. Unafraid of lions or many-headed giants, this boy is certainly a "willful, thrillful child" who makes the adults in his life despair. But what does at last scare him turns this into a celebration of children's unfettered curiosity and daring. Bryan's lyrical poetry might be best read out loud: "The giant massacred the song; the scared boy's ears were ringing. / He hoped he'd never hear again, such awful off-key singing." The buoyant watercolors, bordered in a stained-glass design, complement the musicality of the text, mitigating any sense of fear r example, Giant Three Heads guffaws through wide, goofy grins. In the end, this mischievous boy outsmarts all the demons and runs home and into the arms of his loving grandma. He changes his song to assure her that his escapades have taught him about fear, and he promises to be good from now on. Or for at least a little while.
Kirkus Reviews
It's Anansi. It's Coyote. No, it's a boy wonder who knows no fear. Despite his diminutive size, this young, brown-skinned protagonist boasts of fearing nothing, even when his grandmother tells him that the two-headed giant and his three-headed brother catch and eat little boys who wander home after dark. When the three-headed giant does catch and prepare to eat the boy, only his musical prowess saves him from an untimely death in the giant's kitchen. The boy's refrain, "Tanto, tanto, I'm wild and I'm free. / Grandma's stories can't scare me," makes this tale imminently tellable, and his musical tune, "Too-de-loo-de-loo-de-loot!" makes it singable as well. Bryan's characteristically colorful and rustic paintings portray the contrast between the small boy and the massive giants well, making the boy's humility all the more amazing when he returns to the lap of his grandmother a wiser and more humble boy. Though some of Bryan's rhymes are forced and the giants seem more goofy than scary, the compelling plot and vibrant illustrations will keep readers entertained. This musical trickster breathes new life into an old tale. (Picture book. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
In Bryan-s folktale-style story, a boy is certain he-s above the rules, but he doesn-t suffer the usual comeuppance. Instead, he makes fools out of his enemies and earns his grandmother-s admiration. -Tanto, tanto, I-m wild and I-m free./ Grandma-s stories can-t scare me,- he crows, slipping away from his mother despite Grandma-s warnings about a two-headed giant and his three-headed brother. The tune the boy plays on his flute emboldens him further, and Bryan repeats it often (-Too-de-loo-de-loo-de-loot!-) as narrative punctuation. The boy stays calm when the three-headed giant catches him in a sack and tells his cook to fatten him up. Sure enough, the child-s flute and quick thinking are enough to outwit his captors. It-s the giant-s screechingly bad rendition of the boy-s tune that truly scares him: -His singing voice was worse/ Than any threat to eat him.- Bryan-s paintings have the warmth and substance of Diego Rivera murals, while the giants vibrate in phantasmagoric shades of magenta and lime. There-s never any doubt that the boy will prevail, and there-s something classically Homeric about his exploits. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3&12; With his inimitable style and distinctive folk-art illustrations, Bryan tells a trickster tale from the French and English Antilles about a wild and fearless boy who doesn't flinch even when his grandma tells him stories of giants with two and three heads. He plays his flute ("Too-de-loo-de-loo-de-loot!") and sings: "Tanto, tanto, I'm wild and I'm free./Grandma's stories can't scare me./I'm bold! I'm brave! And though I may be small,/No many-headed giant scares ME at all!" However, encounters with both the two-headed and three-headed brothers in the jungle scare him a little, and when safely back at his Grandma's home he promises to behave: "Dear Grandma, now that I know FEAR,/I will be good, don't worry./If only you would tell me soon&30;/FOUR-HEADED GIANT'S STORY!" The lilting, loosely rhymed text reads well aloud, and the tempera and watercolor, brightly hued illustrations flood the pages with color and action. The stylized giants are not too scary and the book could be used successfully in storytimes with children's participation.&12; Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (9/1/13)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (10/1/13)
Word Count: 1,506
Reading Level: 3.2
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 162399 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.3 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q61011
Lexile: AD570L

From celebrated legend Ashley Bryan, a lavishly depicted cautionary tale of fearlessness and many-headed monsters.

There was a little boy who knew no fear...

Nope, no fear at all. Not even when his grandma warns him of the giants—the two-headed giant and his three-headed brother, that is. Because this wild, fearless boy isn’t scared of any many-headed giants at all!

So one day, he slips away. He just takes off and leaves his grandma behind. After all, what does he care? He’s got his mangoes, and the sunshine, and his flute. And he isn’t scared one bit.

But our boy isn’t really bad, you know; just wild. And soon he misses his grandma. So he turns around, and runs right into—those monsters. He’s about to discover that he may indeed have something to fear…their terrible, horrible singing voices!

This trickster tale from the French Artilles will have readers toe-tapping and trying out their own singing voices.

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