February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

The Fun Book of Scary Stuff by Emily Jenkins | SLJ Review

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FunBookJENKINS, Emily. The Fun Book of Scary Stuff. illus. by Hyewon Yum. 32p. Farrar/Frances Foster Bks. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374300005.
K-Gr 2–A mop top child makes a list of everything that frightens him and shares it with his two dogs. The usual nebulous suspects such as monsters, ghosts, and witches are included, along with more specific terrors such as a nasty cousin who has a penchant for putting ice cubes down the boy’s pants, and a bossy crossing guard. The comical back-and-forth banter between the blustery bull terrier (“When did you see trolls?”) and the apprehensive little boy (“Um. Never.”) is presented in speech bubbles, with the scrappy pug also chiming in. The terrier pokes holes in all of the itemized fears, until “the dark” is mentioned, prompting the pooch to concede, “Okay. Now that’s a little scary.” When all the lights go out, the trio band together in support and finds a solution. In Yum’s wispy, pencil and watercolor illustrations, emotions are clearly conveyed, from closed-eyed bravado to nail-biting dread. VERDICT A not-so-scary look at talking about and tackling fears together.–Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

This review was published in School Library Journal’s September 2015 issue.

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