cover image The Little Bit Scary People

The Little Bit Scary People

Emily Jenkins, , illus. by Alexandra Boiger. . Hyperion, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4231-0075-1

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.)