Danger for Kids

danger book cover

Danger!
A Child’s book about handling fear, dangerous things, places, and situations
Wilt
1979

We have featured this author in the past, and I had not run across one of these in ages. She is nowhere near the weirdness of Doris, but all of hers could be weeded because they are just dated. Like Doris, these books are supposed to address children’s problems and fears. This time it is danger. (Too bad this book didn’t cover global pandemics.) She has also written on gender, money management, and health. (Be sure to see the page on Dad throwing up!) I know there are a lot of these books floating around.

I am not a big fan of the illustrations, and the writing sometimes made me cringe. Take a look at these pages, especially the last one about guns. Nope.

Mary

scary tree to climb being lost loud noises and parents arguing checking on noises sharp razors and arrows playing with a loaded gun

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20 comments

  1. I think this book seems like it would just suggest new fears that the child maybe hadn’t even thought of before!! And then on the last page, it’s like the book is taunting you. Ooh, all these things are dangerous, but SO interesting! I can see some kids thinking it might be worth the risk!

    +2
    1. That’s the point. The rest of that chapter gives a list of what to do to explore them safely. If you have an Internet Archive account (free), you can read it all here: https://archive.org/details/dangerchildrensb00berr/ If you don’t, just go to page “2” and read the Bessie Brown Library’s functional poetry:
      These books are fun…
      These books are great…
      So just remember before it’s too late.
      No coloring, marking, or cutting up these.
      You don’t want to have to pay a REPLACE FEE!!!

      +1
      1. Oh, that makes more sense! Also, I would like the BBL’s poetry so much better if only they had said “You don’t want to have to pay a replaceMENT fee.”

        +1
    1. Or maybe Jim has sensory issues that make some noises physically painful. The way the bit about Jim is written is horribly dismissive.

      +5
      1. Well, yeah. Maybe he has hyperacusis, or he’s autistic.

        Also, I’m pretty sure that a jackhammer CAN hurt you, else the operators wouldn’t be wearing helmets. Jim’s smart to get out of flying debris range.

        +2
        1. Maybe the workmen are so deaf from years of jackhammering sans earmuffs that they don’t realize how annoying it is.

          Buy Jim some good earplugs, I say — it’s how I deal with my hyperacusis. I carry them everywhere, especially to the movies or concerts (When we could go to such things, sigh).

          So this book is even further out of date, without taking these kinds of things into account. Phobias and non-standard brain wiring are completely different things.

          +1
  2. Oh my god, this takes me back! The same author also had a series of books called Living Skills that my mom bought me as a child, the one I remember the most is the “Clean Your Room!” book, it definitely had all the same illustration style and simplistic message. However in its defense, that book really actually DID help me clean my room as a kid, I remember one of the tips was to take everything off the floor and other surfaces in the room and put it all on the bed, (besides things like lamps and such) dust everything, and then start to organize the stuff on your bed and put it away properly. This actually to this day is the way I go about organizing things, I’ll dump whatever out I’m working on onto the bed or floor or couch or whatever, and then work on that pile. Also though these illustrations and information in general are super outdated, but still it was a nice nostalgia kick for me!

    +5
  3. We had a bunch of these books when I was a kid. I never liked the illustrations. I do remember the tagline from each one, that “sometimes _______ (insert emotion here) makes a person do what needs to be done”, which I still think is a pretty good way to deal with negative emotions.

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  4. I have this book! I have the whole series. Yes, dated, but occupying a special place in my heart.
    I liked the “What To Do When Your Mom Or Dad Says” series (by the same author) better, though. The illustrator loved to make sound effects and character introductions in big stylized ALLCAPS words. I laughed SO hard at Peter Pig and his unnaturally horrible table manners, Linda Lazy saying “NAW! I haven’t got time” to write thank-you letters, and QUIRKA QUIRKA TWEETZ BEEREEP of video games you really shouldn’t overdo.

    Anybody else remember those?

    +2
  5. Hergie’s illustrations are – as an adult – worth the price of admission. The storm cloud on the cover looks like a cognate of “Mr. Ouch” seen on power distribution equipment.

    +1
  6. My hand to God, my first thought on looking at this — before I even got to the text — was “Is s/he related to Doris?” Nope, but I suspect s/he went to the same School of Bad Art. Those drawings are really ugly and way too cartoony for serious subjects.

    @Thalia: I agree with you; it looks like will give anxious kids new fears they hadn’t thought of, and bratty kids new ideas for raising havoc.

    Page 18: Dear Star, close and lock the window so no one can get in! You’ll also be able to take that quilt off, that breeze looks brisk.

    Page 44: Sure, mom, go open the door at night when you’re alone with the kid. Let the burglar come right on in. And send the kid out in front of you.

    Page 68: All the NOPE.

    This is what passed for good advice?

    +4
  7. Melody’s mom: Ask Melody to hold your hand and not cling onto your skirt. Now would be a good time to explain Melody is exposing Mommy’s underwear to all the strange men in the illustration!

    And is that kid on page 60 practicing to be Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction? Eww.

    +1
  8. if this was written in 1979 why are women wearing slips and kids pretending to be Native Americans as if it were the 50’s???

    +1
    1. It’s what the illustrator did when they were that age (in the 50s?) and they weren’t “down with the kids” in the late 70s to know if they still did? Maybe they did where he lived!

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