Twelve Terrible Things
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Twelve Terrible Things

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  47 reviews
At last, a grown-up brings to light some of the awful, horrible things kids must endure. A brother's smelly socks, a jump off the high-dive, or a sloppy kiss from a great-aunt--hey, childhood isn't without peril. In-your-face graphic paintings paired with droll text will have readers chuckling and sympathizing. Reviews

"This is essentially Gary Greenberg'­s Pop-Up Book of...more
Hardcover, 30 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Tricycle Press
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Community Reviews

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Liza Gilbert
You know those books that help children get over a fear of the dentist, a fear of being the new kid at school, or the thousand books that deal with the monster under the bed? This is the antibook to all of those. This book brings all those fears to life with 2-page spreads of each fear, including flushing a dead pet down the toilet. The illustrations are effective, and the choice of fears is reasonable. One has to ask the question, though, as to why this would be written at all.
Betsy
Honestly, I've never found a Tricycle Press book I really enjoyed. This is my first. Remember The Pop-Up Book of Phobias? Yeah, this is exactly like that, only it takes all the usual child fears and anxieties and exaggerates them beautifully. About the time you get to the lunchlady pouring gravy over everything (including the milk) you're hooked. Great visuals. Worth taking a gander at.
Christiane
Thank you Leslie for bringing this to the children's meeting! If you have ever found yourself becoming nostalgic for childhood, this book will cure you.
Courtney
Kelley, M. Twelve Terrible Things. New York: Tricycle Press (2008).

This silly book explores 12 different, but common fears that young children fear, such as monsters under the bed. The book helps young children to understand that everyone is scared of something but that it everything is not always what we think it is.

This book is very cute and while the reading level is ages 4-8, teenagers would enjoy this book as well because of its silliness and it will bring back what they were afraid of when...more
Kendra
In a rare moment of maternal wisdom, I opted to read this book during the day. It turned out to be a fantastic call, not only for its depiction of "something under the bed", but also because it generated a lot of discussion; "what happens if you get an ice cream cone and the ice cream part falls off the cone part ('and lands in Australia, I wanted to add'), "what's so terrible about the dentist?", "don't all drains lead to the sea?". And then
I re-read the book after my kids had gone to play, an...more
Savannah
Loved the creative illustrations and the writing. It didn't state the obvious, just what a child would think. I liked that the view is from the child's eyes. For example, pg 1 is a picture of the child holding an ice cream come, looking down at his feet at the ice cream on the ground. The words read Oooopsie! I agree that that happening is terrible but not the monsters under the bed, or visiting the dentist, getting a haircut, or visiting grandma. My boys currently are not afraid of the dark or...more
Phannie
this is THE WORST CHILDREN'S BOOK EVER!!! There is not a child anywhere that needs to be taught that things that aren't (don't have to be) scary actually are. Kids do not need to be taught to be afraid of the dentist or hairdresser or clowns or anything else. This book was not humorous in any way. I would give it negative stars if I could.
Tasha
From the initial warning about the horrible things in the book all the way to the triumphant end, this book is immense fun, though terrible. Each double-page spread shows a terrible thing from a first-person point of view. It is your ice cream that has fallen on the ground, your dentist moving towards your mouth, and even you who is the new student in a crowded classroom.

Children of all ages will see their own fears reflected here with unflinching realism and great style. Each illustration has...more
S
This is going to be a fun read-aloud and is perfect to use when you only have "a few minutes". It would be very easy for teachers to use this as part of a writing lesson/prompt.
Jason
How did I miss this? Brilliant! Older kids (who don't typically read picture books) will probably appreciate the humor more, but it's not inaccessible to younger audiences either.
The Library Lady
This is definitely NOT a little kid book. The "new kid in school", the "lunch lady", and several other pages are really about big kid concerns. And the last thing you want to do when you are dealing with one of our modern "sensitive" preschoolers is to give them a book to reinforce their anxieties about dentists and things under the bed.
(Especially when you have to deal with their hovering mothers. Sigh....)

So I'd recommend this for a second or third or fourth grader. For your 3 year old? I don'...more
Cassie
Twelve Terrible Things is exactly as the title says... twelve two page illustrations depicting absolutely terrible things that everyone of most any age can relate to. Examples include: having the ice cream fall out of your cone, visiting the dentist, an annoying brother who makes you smell his feet and a grandma who pinches your cheeks. Perhaps not much substance here, but it might just encourage your young one to come up with their own list of twelve terrible things! Or maybe even fifteen fanta...more
Arminzerella
These are 12 pretty terrible things, and you, reader, get to experience them personally! Or, at least through the illustrations. From a dropped ice cream cone, to monsters under the bed, and cheek-pinching relatives, you will probably be quaking with fear by the time you finish this book. Don't worry, it gets better. Except there's a clown. If you don't like clowns, you should probably skip that part. *shudder*
Jen
This brightly illustrated book details 12 terrible things from the reader's point of view, including an old lady about to pinch your cheeks, a class full of kids staring at you (you're the new kid) and smelly socks in your face. The great watercolor illustrations are realistic and on some pagespreads really make you feel like you're on the spot. One of those picture books that is for kids aged 6-99.
Anna Francesca
This was one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. It is awful things from a kid's perspective. It reminds me of a more modern Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, but with more emphasis on illustrations than text. While this would not make a good read-aloud, it is one I highly suggest checking into for a chuckle if nothing else.
Rebecca Rule
I love this book because it shows the world, in all it's hilarious horrors, though a child's eyes. Children who read this book will know that at least one adult, Marty Kelley, knows what it's like to be a kid at the dentist or new in school or one who's dropped his strawberry iced cream to the sidewalk.
Sandy
This book is full of creepy, dark humor. The art is pretty cool, with illustrations drawn as seen through the eyes of this poor, traumatized child. I certainly wouldn't give this book to a very young child, but older kids and adults will probably find this book strangely amusing.
Karina
I think this book had a cute idea, but I don't think the actual content was for the right age. It is a board book, so for younger kids, but some of the "terrible things" in the story were more for older kids, or even adults. It was an okay book, but not great.
Karla
This book was okay. The idea is to compare all kinds of different "terrible things" in a child's life to see distinctions between them. I like the idea but am not sure if the author/illustrator accomplished the goal.
Sam Bloom
Original format, great illustrations - most of the 12 are pretty laugh-out-loud funny, but the diving board and especially the clown (Gail, if you're reading, this book may not be for you) are downright terrifying.
Amy
Oh, the horror! There's something under the bed, you're new in school and everyone stares at you, the lunch lady is mean and your ice cream fell out of the cone. We've all been there, kid. Life is tough.
Lupine
Not sure what age this is for -- I would buy this for a grown up for sure. Elementary age kids with a dark sense of humor would also like it. I loved the dark humor and the illustrations are fantastic!
Amianne Bailey
Read aloud K-2; Mockingbird; The kids loved this one! We made so much noise in the library while reading this book that my principal came in to join the fun. That's the sign of a great read aloud!
Angie
Every kid's worst nightmares ...

I think my favorites would be a toss up between the scary clown and the picture shown EXACTLY from the point of view of a "new kid" in class. 8]
Linda
This book shows some truly terrible things--beginning with the scoops of ice cream melting on the sidewalk. The illustrations are fantastic, you truly get a child's point of view.
Edna
Great big two-page illustrations perfectly displaying a young boy's fears in his voice. So well done, the reader feels his anxiety, embarrassment and fear. Hilarious.
Susan
I think this would be a lot of fun with an older group, like 3rd graders. Lots to talk about - "which one do you think is the worst? has that ever happened to you?"
Susan P
Used this with great success for school tours in the library this spring. Adults and older kids will appreciate the wonderful illustrations too.
Mira Domsky
Mostly funny illustrations of silly terrible things. Like "smell my feet!" Minimal words, suitable for storytime, or beginning readers?
Brittany
I love the illustrations in this book. I hate that tool the dentist uses and I mean come on, who isn't afraid of clowns?
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