Thursday, October 23, 2008

Twelve Terrible Things by Marty Kelley

I'm happy to present to you Shelly Burns' first review at The Well-Read Child! Enjoy!

Twelve Terrible Things by Marty Kelley is a picture book told and illustrated from a child’s perspective.

It opens with a letter:

I’m warning you. If you turn the page, you are going to see some terrible things.
Some really terrible things. This book is full of them. Didn’t you read the title?

Just about everything in this book is terrible. You’re probably going to turn the page, anyway, aren’t you?

Go ahead.


Of course, you are going to turn the page; who wouldn’t with an intro like that?

There is not a story line to this book. Each page is an illustration of what is happening, from the child’s perspective, and then a little blurb about the event. The events are numbered 1-12, hence the title, Twelve Terrible Things. #1 shows ice cream that has fallen off of the cone with the word, “Oooopsie!” on the page. It continues like that through the 12th thing. At the end, though, a good thing happens.

I think that this book would be appropriate for Pre-K – 2nd grade students. It lends itself to a lot of discussion, based on the illustrations themselves. Children deal with what they think are terrible things every day, and this book touches on some of them. Children will be able to relate to many of the events in this book and maybe even come up with some more of their own. I could see teachers using this as a kick-off for students to create their own terrible thing books either individually or as a class. Some kids may not think these are terrible things, so it opens up another discussion about point of view.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to parents and teachers based on all the discussion that you can have around the illustrations.

What Other Bloggers Are Saying:

Kiss the Book:
"It makes a great tool for a teacher or parent to talk to kids about why some of these things are scary and diffuse some of the tension – others are just funny and sometimes none of us can escape those situations. A great piece of humor!" (read more...)

Markam Public Library:
" In-your-face graphic paintings paired with droll text will have readers chuckling and sympathizing. " (read more...)

More Info:
  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tricycle Press (October 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582462291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582462295
  • Source: Review copy from publisher

Be sure to check out Shelly's blog, Write for a Reader.

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