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What Was I Scared Of?
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What Was I Scared Of?

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,322 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews

What's a pair of empty green trousers doing standing by itself in the woods? Or riding a bike in Grin-itch?Or fishing on Roover River?The narrator certainly doesn't want to find out but wherever he goes, he's haunted by the spooky empty pants. Finally, when the two find themselves hiding from each other in a Snide bush, the terrified narrator realizes, "I was just as stran

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published July 22nd 1997 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinCharlotte's Web by E.B. White
Best children's books EVER
159th out of 1,131 books — 1,418 voters
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussOne Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. SeussHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussOh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss
18th out of 62 books — 54 voters

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Community Reviews

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Oct 15, 2010 Anna rated it it was amazing
This book TERRIFIED me to no end as a child. Well into my 20s, I remember shuddering at the illustrations of the empty pants, framed in the eerie blue of twilight, jumping off a clothesline and chasing a little boy through the woods. If ever Dr. Seuss came up in conversation I would ask a friend, "Do you remember such and such a book about the pants?" Sure enough I would meet a fellow traveler who was also terrified of this book. Who cares about the payoff, the setup is enough to strike life-lon ...more
Jan 07, 2016 Anne rated it it was amazing
Dr Seuss' rhymes make Eminem look like a learner.
His humor makes Kevin hart's jokes seem just about as funny and absorbing as stale bread and watching me try to rhyme.


And No. I'm not done yet. I'm still trying to experience the wonders of his little works- something I should have experienced years ago O.o
Dec 02, 2012 Fred rated it it was amazing
"I said, I do not fear those pants with nobody inside them. I said, and said, and said those words. I said them but I lied them."

O to think that I shall never see
A way to write like Dr. Seuss.
And even if I did,
Well, it would be completely derivative.
Jomanah Aloumi
Oct 22, 2014 Jomanah Aloumi rated it it was amazing
"I was just as strange to them as they were strange to me."

Absolutely lovely. Favourite.
Laura Hayes
Jul 22, 2012 Laura Hayes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-books
My favorite Dr. Seuss book.
Mar 20, 2015 Jenny rated it liked it
Somehow this is my first time reading this book. My kids loved that it glows in the dark. We had to interrupt our reading to turn off the lights repeatedly to see the creature and the pants and the moon glowing. Cute story ...sometimes the things we fear are nothing to fear at all...or perhaps they are just as afraid of us as we are of them.
La La
Dec 23, 2015 La La rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
This book was stellar! It is a newer Seuss book since my son was small. It teaches that sometimes things we are afraid of are just as afraid of us. I actually bought this as a Kindle "teach me to read" app. There were several on sale because of Dr. Seuss's birthday, this app was only 99¢ (plus I received free coins towards purchasing other apps). The teaching features are marvelous. You can have it set three ways: teaching, read it myself, and auto-play.I bought ten of these Seuss apps today for ...more
Dylan J.
Apr 20, 2016 Dylan J. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dr-seuss
The book takes the view point from a bear who seems to be the narrator as well. One day he is walking in the woods and claims that he isn’t afraid however then he stumbles upon a pair of pants that’s floating. He is frightened and runs away. Through-out the book he constantly comes into contact with the pants and he is frightened until one time he realizes the pants are afraid of him just as much as he is afraid of the pants. They then both realize that there was nothing to be afraid of. The boo ...more
Bruce Nordstrom
Aug 08, 2015 Bruce Nordstrom rated it did not like it
”What Was I Scared of?” “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Scrambled Eggs Super.”
I recently started reading a Dr. Seuss, and ended up reading three in one sitting. I tried writing 3 reviews, but they kept running together. So I writing one review and posting it in three separate places.
First of all, I guess I should qualify myself a little bit. I am one of the generation that Clarles Schultz had in mind when he wrote a “Peanuts” comic stip.
Charlie Brown: Linus, what did you think of all those forms
Alicia Rotter
Feb 23, 2015 Alicia Rotter rated it it was amazing
If I were face to face with a pair glowing, green pants with no one inside them, I would sure be scared! As was the character in this book when he first met the glowing green pants. Dr. Seuss introduces young readers to a book where someone who says he isn't afraid of anything, meets his match.

I thought this book had a really great theme behind it; Everyone has something they are afraid of. This story shows that sometimes when you face your fears you find out that things are not as scary as the
Kathryn Cunningham
Feb 25, 2014 Kathryn Cunningham rated it it was amazing
What could be scarier than walking deep in the woods in the middle of a dark night? Running smack dab into a pair of pale green pants with nobody inside 'em, that's what! And what if those pants seemed to be tailing you, nearly running you down with their bicycle as you fetched some spinach in Grin-itch, then catching you unawares while fishing for Doubt-trout on Roover River, and finally cornering you in a spooky Snide-field as you were picking your peck of Snide. Yes, a pair of pale green pant ...more
Lindsay Bassett
Mar 02, 2015 Lindsay Bassett rated it it was amazing
In the spirit of Dr Seuss Day (AKA National Read Across America Day), I’m going to expend today’s writing energy on reviewing what I believe to be the best of all the Dr Seuss books.

Before my son was born and old enough to start talking, I had no idea pants were funny. So are the words piper and pepper. When Caleb was four years old, he loved answering the phone by yelling “PANTS!” and then laughing hysterically. I had to admit, it was funny.

Before I read What Was I Scared Of? By Dr Seuss, I had
Caroline Petty
Oct 25, 2010 Caroline Petty rated it really liked it
Shelves: seasons-weather
This is a fun book to read around halloween time when children are excited about all of the holiday's "scary" activities. It's so silly that everyone is sure to enjoy it. It could also be used to relate to school as well. Becasue many children are afraid of the anxiety or the myths that come along with a new school year, this book could be a teacher's way of lightening the mood and the environment of the classroom in a way that makes students laugh.
Apr 10, 2014 Crystal rated it it was amazing
I hadn't even heard of this story until I had my son and started reading him all the Seuss I could get my hands on. This is absolutely my favorite. It flows perfectly when read aloud and it's so creepy and funny. One of my favorite lines ever: "I said, I do not fear those pants with nobody inside them. I said, and said, and said those words. I said them but I lied them."
Feb 22, 2012 Kid rated it it was amazing
Shelves: preschool, k-3
This has always been one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books, mostly because the idea is so bizarre yet somehow poignant -- a guy afraid of a pair of empty pale green pants. My favorite line: "I said, 'I do not fear those pants with nobody inside them.' I said and said and said those words. I said them, but I lied them."
Jul 02, 2013 Dianna rated it it was amazing
We all love this book! It's hard to beat Dr. Seuss's "pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them."
Aug 24, 2014 Mglidewe rated it it was amazing
I read this to my child A LOT, he is/was super scared of the dark. This book glows in the dark, and since I happen to own a black light we read it under that. It's really fun. I found a pair of pale green pants and stuffed them to make them look like the "pale green pants with no one inside them" he digs it and it really has helped with the whole being afraid of the dark business. It was such a big hit that I had to buy multiple copies, myself, the grandparents and my 2 nieces. It's in my Top 5 ...more
Brianna Jones
Apr 01, 2009 Brianna Jones rated it it was amazing
Genre:Picture book

Reading Level: early to transitional

Topics and Themes:This book discusses the topic of fear. The main character keeps running into a pair of "pale green pants" throughout the story. He is scared but finds out that the pants are also afraid of him. By the end of the story they are friends and wave to each other instead of running in fear.

Curricular Use: Guided Reading or Independent reading

Social: Everyone has something they are afraid of. This story shows that sometimes when y
Jul 04, 2014 Annalee rated it it was amazing
I first read this in the Sneetches book when I was a kid. Dead terrified of it, I was...those disembodied pants were just too much. My re-read as an adult, though, made me see a good theme. I don't think I could read it to a young kid, having been so traumatized by it as a child, but I think it would make a good tie-in book for older elementary or middle school for the theme of facing fears.
May 18, 2015 Marek rated it it was amazing
This is just pure awesomeness. My version has several glow-in-the-dark features, making it even more fun for my kids. But what can be better than being sent to bed after a story of some "scary" empty pants with nobody inside them?! Love this book. My kids love this book. It's a classic, and has done wonders for helping my children overcome their fear of the dark.
Whole And
Oct 05, 2014 Whole And rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Another fun Dr. Seuss book, especially useful for overcoming fear of the dark and things unknown and becoming friends with what scares us, metaphorical or real.

We had a lot of fun recreating the story with a pair of green pants that would 'float' around the room following, crying and such until it was hugged and accepted as not being scary!

Loved it!
Jan 11, 2012 Valerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: jack
My 2 1/2 year old son is on a Dr. Suess kick, and What Was I Scared of? Is his current favorite. I think part of the allure is the deep color of the pages with just the main character and those pale green pants popping off each page. The rhyming in Suess books is sure to please any small child.
I noticed quite a few people reviewed this book as having scared them as a child. I had never read this book before - and it does not appear to have any "scare" effect on my child. He loves the story - and
Sergey Lenkevich
Sep 08, 2015 Sergey Lenkevich rated it it was ok
But there is Little Raccoon And The Thing In The Pool by Lilian Moore
The same theme, but more interesting, clever and adequate
Karisa Carmichael
Nov 24, 2014 Karisa Carmichael rated it liked it
This book was very cute. It shows some things are as scared of you as you are of them. In this case it was a pair of empty pants, instead of a animal or another person. Although, its a good children's book with poetry.
Cynthia Egbert
Feb 22, 2016 Cynthia Egbert rated it really liked it
Of course I have read this many times but I just needed to be a kid for awhile today and so I grabbed this, my very favourite of all of Dr. Seuss' stories and shut myself away and had a great time.
Feb 13, 2016 Bailey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-reads-books
Love dr. Seuss books! This is a good story to teach kids that it is okay to be scared. It also shows that facing your fears is good too! Dr Seuss is an amazing author!
More pants books, please! Silly pants with no one inside them plus a sweet endy. Slightly spooky so a good one to try with preschoolers around Halloweentime.
Sara Lemonade
Sep 21, 2015 Sara Lemonade rated it it was amazing
The glow-in-the-dark pants book! This is one of my very very favorites! My brother Silas and I have read this a hundred times!
May 25, 2015 Jonelle rated it really liked it
This is one of my child's favorite stories. We always make sure and read it around Halloween. It's funny and a little creepy!
Laura Elizabeth
Jun 03, 2014 Laura Elizabeth rated it liked it
This was an addition in one of my Dr. Seuss books. We loved it! I recommend it for anyone with small children! It's so cute!
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Theodor Seuss Geisel was born 2 March 1904 in Springfield, MA. He graduated Dartmouth College in 1925, and proceeded on to Oxford University with the intent of acquiring a doctorate in literature. At Oxford he met Helen Palmer, who he wed in 1927. He returned from Europe in 1927, and began working for a magazine called Judge, the leading humor magazine in America at the time, submitting both carto ...more
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