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Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?
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Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  540 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Herb never imagined the dangers when he decided to scribble on and cut up his book of fairy tales. Drawing mustaches on the characters, pasting telephones into the rooms, and cutting out Prince Charming and the royal thrones had seemed like good fun.
But then Herb never imagined he'd fall into the book one night.

After contending with a petulant Goldilocks, a very angry wi
...more
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Disney-Hyperion (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Aleksandra
Who's Afraid of The Big Bad Book? By Lauren Child is one of the best picture books that I have ever read. The author came up with a great idea to combine some of the well-known fairy tales for kids and create a humorous story with a small boy Herb who finds himself as a main protagonist. The picture book is in a big format which I consider as a very positive feature which certainly draws children attention. I really appreciate and enjoy her distinctive illustrations with a mixture of exuberant c ...more
Anna Laskownicka
'Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?' is a story about a little boy Herb, who didn't really take a good care of his books. It was always ok for him to eat while reading, making the pages dirty of food. He also liked drawing on the pages, and cutting off different characters just to play with them later.
Herb have never really thought about the consequences of his actions, until he had become a character of the story himself.

The book in a great way shows that the characters from different picture bo
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Zaynab Modaykhan
I personally think this is one of the best children's books I have read!I love the illustrations as they cover the entire page, some pages fold out to show even more adventures going on, the writing are of different fonts, sizes and all over the pages! I think this book has really caught an amazing imagination of readers and I love the actual storyline of the book. It starts off with a character named Herb who is not such a great reader, but loves reading regardless. It immediately catches a rea ...more
Meagan
Nov 17, 2007 Meagan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents trying to teach their children to respect books
Herb loves to read, but he's not very good about taking care of his books. In particular, his book of fairy tales has had prince charming cut out, is full of stains and crumbs, and all the characters have been doodled on. When Herb falls asleep while reading the fairy tales, he finds himself in the world of the book! The fairy tale characters are fed up with the crumbs and ball-point pen mustaches, and are determined to teach Herb a lesson. This picture book is unique and funny, and the collage- ...more
Illeyana
Pop-ups are always amazing, but when you fall into one... you fall in love with it! I loved reading this story!
Mateusz Pilas
Lauren Child’s Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Book? Is simply put great. The idea to incorporate fairy tales known by almost every kid, including Goldilocks and Cinderella” into the story of Herb is quite clever. In the book, the main protagonist interacts with fairy tale heroes and to directly influences their fate, which allows children to see those timeless stories from a different point of view, as well as gives those stories a new twist. Moreover, the art used in the book deserves to be mentio ...more
Carolinee
This is the second book of Lauren Child that I have read and I appreciate it as well as the previous one. I observed that Child follows the same pattern while creating books and it is easy to differentiate her works from the others. It is typical of the author that she uses collage for the illustrations and the text has different shapes and is placed in different positions (even upside down). Child also borrows characters from other fairy tales e.g. “Cinderella” or “Goldilocks and the three bear ...more
Heather Gallagher
So this was the picture book we studied in book group for Fairytales. And I recommended it :) My family have owned this delightful book for about five years - it's falling apart. I can't tell you how many times I have read it with my daughter Zoe - who is now 10 and still thinks it's awesome. The book is about a boy Herb who 'falls into' a book of fairytales while he's asleep. Gorgeous Zoe has been known to have an open book in bed with her while she sleeps, hoping for the same thing to happen t ...more
Anna Stover
An ingenious work of metafictional fairytaleing about a boy who falls asleep reading a book of fairytales and winds up inside it. He cuts holes through pages to escape each story, only to find himself in the next. Along the way, he encounters all the manifold injuries he inflicted on the book in the past (mustaches on everyone at Cinderella's ball, missing Prince Charming, telephones in every room, etc.). All that said, it is cruel and unusual punishment to create such a wonderful book that I ca ...more
Taylor Ray
This book was about a young boy who owned this fairy tale book and while reading it one night, he fell asleep and somehow ended up in the book. He ends up in all of these fairy tales like Goldielocks and the Three Bears, Cinderella, etc. Well, none of the characters in the story are very happy that Herb was there, but he didn't know how to get out! He journeys through the story going in and out of fairy tales, and somehow ends up getting out eventually.

I enjoyed this book a lot because it was di
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Kathryn Herbert
Can you imagine accidentally falling into your favorite fairy tale? In Lauren Child’s post-modern picture book story, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book, a young boy named Herb does just that. While Herb loves to read, he does not know how to take care of his books. In particular, his book of fairy tales are full of stains, Cinderella’s kitchen is covered in cookie crumbs, the characters have been doodled on, and Prince Charming is cut out. When Herb falls asleep after reading a book of fairy tale ...more
Katie McPherson
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book? is an imaginative and colourful story for KS1 children.It tells the story of Herb, a character that children may recognise from Beware of the Storybook Wolves.

Herb decides to scribble on and cut up his book of fairy tales, not foreseeing the dangers that lay ahead. One night Herb tumbles into his storybook and meets characters in his tampered fairy tales. He accidentally sleeps in Goldilocks' bed; he passes by Hansel and Gretel and unintentionally attends a part
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Bonnieyayaleyyy
The book who’s afraid of the big bad book? By Lauren Child. For me is a perfect book in every way. The central character Herb falls asleep with his head on his book of fairy tales and ends up inside the book itself. Through quick-thinking and luck and the willing / unwilling help of a host of fairy tale characters, he makes it safely out of the story and wakes up. Child plays superbly with the concept of ownership of books and with the very concept of the book itself. There is apparent graffiti ...more
Ying Lee
Herb loves to doodle on his books and messes up his books with food, but he never thought that he would meet those story characters he did mischief to. One night Herb tumbled to his storybook and meet characters in fairy tales. He accidentally slept in Goldilocks' bed and met the three bears; he passed by Hansel and Gretel and unintentionally attended a party where he met the queen who was unhappy about her mustache drawn by Herb; escaping from the queen before being caught, Herb came across Cin ...more
Marinna Bressel
Herb had no idea the dangers that would happen when he decided to scribble on and cut up his book of fairy tales. Drawing mustaches on the characters, pasting telephones into the rooms, and cutting out Prince Charming and the royal thrones had seemed like good fun. One day, he invites his friend Ezzie over for a sleepover. Herb starts reading a book and soon dozes off to sleep.He wakes up to find himself in his actual books. I love the illustrations as they cover the entire page, some pages fold ...more
CH - Marvin Childress
Author/Illustrator: Lauren Child; Age: 2nd/3rd
The story follows Herb, a young boy, who is not the best reader. Herb finds himself trapped inside a book, and he travels through various fairy tales; with Cinderella being one of them.

This is an excellent book. The illustrations are drawn with a mix of live-action photos; everything comes to life in this book, even the text, which sometimes resembles shape poetry. Students will be captivated from start to finish.
Taylor O'Connor
When I picked up "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?" by Lauren Child, I was expecting my imagination to go on an adventure through a world I had yet to experience; however, this book was a predictable joy ride at best. Herb, the story's main character wants to lay down and read a good book before bed, but little did he know that the book he would pick would end up leading him into a story he didn't wish for. This postmodern fantasy was enjoyable to read through as my eyes grazed over the pictur ...more
Mione Knight
Lauren child’s picture book ‘Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Book?’ is a truly unique and imaginative story. The story follows a young boy called Herb who loves to read. One night Herb is reading ‘a book of Fairy tales’ when he falls asleep and falls into a dream where he is stuck inside the book! He wakes up to Goldilocks screaming at him. He then goes on to meet other loved characters such as the three bears and Hansel and Gretel. The majority of his dream however, involves complications with Cind ...more
Lauren Marotta
Adorable read.

A young child named herb, never imagined what would happen when cutting up and messing with his book of fairy tales. He would cut out the characters, put mustaches on their faces, and draw funny things. But he didn't realize that one night he would fall into the book. As he comes across a few problems he tries to figure out a way to get off the page and have a happily ever after- At least tries too.


The illustrations are collage like, and the colors are very vibrant. The pictures f
...more
Nojood Alsudairi
This is the best Lauren Child book ever. My daughter adores it.
Brianda Cruz
This book reminded of this show i use to watch when I was younger. This book is basically bought a little boy who absoultly loves books. The pages are very colorful and everything is just everywhere and falls asleep with a book in his hand that happened to be a fairy tall book and has a very interesting dream about some of those fairytales. I won't say much more considering it will ruin the story. But the pictures are very poppy and very cartoon like and they take up two pages and the words unde ...more
(NS) Brea M
Lauren Child’s, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book? is an excellent read for students ages 5-10. Herb, the same googly-eyed boy from Child's Beware of the Storybook Wolves (2003), dozes off while reading and tumbles right into the story. As he meets each fairytale character, he realizes they are disgruntled by the way he has treated the books. Their doodled moustaches and other incongruities jog his memory of a time, "long, long ago," when he had treated this book not so kindly. Herb barely escape ...more
Gerry
A novel idea for a book in that not only does Herb get into the books that he reads, and cuts up, but he is then surrounded with collaged illustrations that mostly add to his woe and add to the readers' enjoyment.

It was a book of fairy tales that he was reading when he dozed off to sleep with his head on one of the pages. Next thing he knew he was awakened with Goldilocks screaming at him to tell him that he was not allowed in her story. But he was there ...

He runs away but passes puss in boot,
...more
Maria
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book is a fantastic, clever, imaginative pop-up book by Lauren Child. The protagonist is a boy named Herb and in this book the reader sets off on a journey through several fairytales, and we learn that it is important to treat books nicely.
Child’s uses modern and humorous illustrations combined with characters from familiar fairytales such as Goldilocks and the three bears to capture the reader’s attention and it works a treat.

One night, Herb falls asleep while readi
...more
Louise
Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Book?
Lauren Child

This book allows Herb to fall into one of his fairy tale books, which turns out he had defaced years previous. When in the book, Herb encounters a Goldilocks and the three bears who are extremely angry because Herb was ruining their story. Escaping through a fairytale forest he runs past many other fairytale scenes, including Rapunzel and Puss in Boots. Eventually he reaches a door, leading to Prince Charming’s ball in Cinderella. He notices the wick
...more
Alexis Gonzalez
I chose this book for my Picture Book Analysis and I am happy that I did. It was a great read and it kept me engaged, even as a 20 year old. It was something new and different, especially when trying to follow along with the text. At one point, I had my book upside down trying to read it. I had the pop-up version and it just made the story that much more compelling. . The main character in this story is Herb. One day Herb decides to scribble on and cut up his book of fairy tales. He drew mustach ...more
Jenny
Herb is a boy that loves story books, particularly those with loads of brightly coloured exciting pictures that tell you so much. Herb is always reading and on one particular night when his friend Ezzie had stayed over, Herb falls asleep reading a book of fairy tales. This is nothing unusual but when Herb wakes up he finds himself in a strange room, in a strange uncomfortable bed with a strange girl shrieking at him telling Herb to get out of this story. Herb was very confused, but then it dawne ...more
george
Herb loves to read and he reads all the time. Therefore, his books aren't exactly in the best shape. Creases and food stuck in them and such. One night he falls asleep with his head on his book of fairy tales and suddenly wakes up in a strange bed with a little girl screaming at him to get out of his story. Herb doesn't exactly know what's going on, but he soon figures out that he has fallen into his book! He quickly leaves the house to find himself encountering many other storybook charaters: w ...more
Elizabeth Sousa
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book by Lauren Child plots one child firmly in the center of a dozen fairytales, which, coincidentally, he may have been responsible for ruining one or two.

The cover and dust jacket feature the same images; a boy (who we will come to find out is Herb) reading the very book that is in our own hands, and some scary looking lady fingers reaching out menacingly. The book opens to bright pink endpapers, with what looks like rips and tears embedded into them. The first fla
...more
Lauren Stout
When a young boy named Herb falls asleep on book of fairy tales, he finds that he has literally fallen into the book and is among some very well-know fairy tale characters in their stories. The story becomes even more playful when Herb encounters several characters at a ball who are all donning mustaches from when Herb was going through a doodling phase. With the help of a fairy godmother, Herb eventually escapes the book and is able to find Prince Charming who he recently cut out to put on a ca ...more
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UEL Primary PGCE ...: Review 6 1 3 Aug 21, 2014 04:17AM  
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Lauren Child grew up in Wiltshire as the middle child of three sisters and the daughter of two teachers. She has always been interested in the many aspects of childhood, from gazing into toy shop windows to watching American children's shows from the 1960s. After attending two Art Schools, where Lauren admits that she did not learn much, she travelled for six months, still unsure about which caree ...more
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