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THE SCAREDY CATS by Barbara Bottner


by Barbara Bottner & illustrated by Victoria Chess

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-83786-0
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Scaredy Cats have managed to scare themselves into petrifaction in this droll, cumulative tale. Mr. and Mrs. Scaredy Cat wake to the new day; they are cold, but they don’t want to shut the window because it might close on their fingers. So they shiver. They suggest that Baby Scaredy Cat not wear her new dress because it might get a stain on it, or cook breakfast because they might get burned, or drive the car to a restaurant because it goes too fast, or play bounce because someone might get hurt. They don’t want to open the package delivered by the mailman because they might be disappointed, or read a story because it might be too long or too boring, or watch the sunset because it might hurt their eyes—classic Chess bug-eyes that accompany the finger-twisting and hand-clasping in her wonderful art. The slow accumulation of fears threatens to overwhelm them until Baby Scaredy Cat worries that “tomorrow I will be scared and cold and hungry and bored and mad and disappointed and worried and left out and tired—just like today.” She wonders, “if all kinds of things can happen”—a constant refrain, applied in the negative—“can good things happen too?” Well, maybe. A funny and revealing look at our fears, how they can be blown out of proportion and rob us of life’s comforts and pleasures, even if they do bite us on occasion. (Picture book. 3-7)