Cover image for Some things are scary
Some things are scary
Heide, Florence Parry.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
A list of scary things includes "roller skating down hill when you haven't learned how to stop, getting hugged by somebody you don't like, and finding out your best friend has a best friend who isn't you."
Reading Level:
AD 110 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.3 0.5 45332.

Reading Counts RC K-2 1.9 1 Quiz: 23401 Guided reading level: J.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
X Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
X Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



With wit and poignancy, the scary moments of childhood -- not being picked for the team, being caught in a lie, having your best friend move away -- are brought to life. Kids (of all ages!) are sure to recognize themselves in some of these moments, and ultimately be reassured that they're not alone in their fears.Perfect for a parent and child to read together -- children may be encouraged to write down and/or discuss some of their own "scaries".

Author Notes

Florence Parry Heide was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 27, 1919. She studied at Wilson College before transferring to the University of California at Los Angeles, where she received a B.A. in English. She worked in advertising and public relations in New York City before returning to Pittsburgh during World War II. She moved to Wisconsin with her husband after the war and started writing books at the age of 48. She wrote or co-wrote over 100 children's books including the Treehorn series, Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of a Girl who Floated, and The One and Only Marigold. She also wrote under the pseudonyms Alex B. Allen and Jamie McDonald.

Heide received numerous awards and honors including having The Shrinking of Treehorn named by the New York Times as the Best Illustrated Children's Book of 1971 and winning the Jugendbuchpreis for the Best Children's Book of Germany in 1977; The Day of Ahmed's Secret received the Editors' Choice Award from Booklist in 1991, and Sami and the Time of the Troubles received the Editors' Choice Award from Booklist in 1992. She died on October 24, 2011 at the age of 92.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-6. As in Heide's classic The Shrinking of Treehorn (1971) and William Steig's Grown-ups Get to Do All the Driving (1995), words and pictures here get the small child's viewpoint in a world where huge adults have all the power. The adults aren't abusive, but the kid is helpless, whether he is at the dinner table cowering before a huge steamy mess on his plate or awake in bed at night ("knowing your parents are talking about you and you can't hear what they're saying" ). In the first picture the child is squashed in the embrace of an ecstatic adult ("Getting hugged by someone you don't like is scary" ). Other kids can be scary too: finding out that your best friend has a best friend who isn't you; thinking you're not going to be picked for either side. And there's the strong suggestion that the scariest things may be what you do to yourself: the thrill of being close to panic; the claustrophobia of being trapped in a lie. With a few simple, immediate words, Heide gets the child's voice, the physicalness of his terror, and his comic desperation. Feiffer's cartoons, in watercolor and felt-tip marker, express the raw feelings with huge eyes and wild body language. Each frantic scenario leaves children to imagine what happens next and to fill in the space from their own experience. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Some Things Are Scary (No Matter How Old You Are) by Florence Parry Heide, illus. by Jules Feiffer, demonstrates an assortment of scary things, from "stepping on something squishy when you're in your bare feet" to "climbing a tree when you don't remember how to get down." Wry pictures demonstrate that scary things can be funny too in this witty and reassuring gift book. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Not a story but a list of situations that can be physically and emotionally distressing, Heide's latest offering reassures children that they're not alone in their anxieties. Varying degrees of fearful circumstances are presented, ranging from "Getting hugged by someone you don't like" to "Being on a swing when someone is pushing you too high" to "Skating downhill when you haven't learned how to stop." A few of the "scary" predicaments are associated with a child's flight of fancy and serve to impart levity, but the majority of examples deal with children's very real concerns: getting a shot, not being picked for the team, having your best friend move away. Feiffer's sketchy pen-and-ink and watercolor artwork conveys a boy's appropriate reaction to each situation. A mix of picture sizes makes for interesting tableaux and creates surprises at each turn of the page. Use this title as a means of generating discussions with youngsters about what they find to be "scary."-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.