cover image Scared Silly!: A Book for the Brave

Scared Silly!: A Book for the Brave

Marc Tolon Brown. Little Brown and Company, $18.45 (61pp) ISBN 978-0-316-11360-1

In his adult-directed foreword to this spirited anthology, Robert Coles muses on what being ``scared'' entails, concluding that as children venture into the unknown they ``learn to take on this world, to get some sense of confidence about it, control over it.'' The mostly lighthearted entries in this volume will certainly assuage rather than feed youngsters' fears of spooks and the like (cf. Florence Parry Heide's ``The Monster in My Closet,'' who ``always tries to scare me / (he does it as a joke). / But tonight I shouted BOO! at him / and he went up in smoke!''). Tempering the potentially frightening endings of a small number of these selections is Brown's typically upbeat art, featuring a bevy of frolicsome kids, amicable ghosts, playful little monsters and benign witches--even the most exotic creatures (such as the chimerical fellow in Ogden Nash's ``The Wendigo'' and Jane Yolen's skeletal ``The Fossilot'') come off as decidedly nonthreatening. Other stellar contributors include Judith Viorst and Jack Prelutsky. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)