Just in Case

Just in Case

Book - 2005
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Charlie likes to be ready for anything, imagining that his house could be flooded or a mermaid might kidnap him, but he learns that it is sometimes good to be unprepared.
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780689871641
Call Number: VIORST
Picture Book Fiction
Characteristics: p. ; cm.
Subjects: Preparedness -- Juvenile fiction.
Additional Contributors: Bluthenthal, Diana Cain - Illustrator


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Feb 05, 2015

Charlie is a worrier. He constantly prepares just in case the worst happens. When it is raining he is worried it will flood so while he is inside, he gets his rain gear and an inflatable boat. When he gets a bossy babysitter, he behaves badly to send her away. He worries food will not be available, so he makes 117 peanut butter sandwiches. This worrying behavior goes on for several more parts of the story.

The illustrations are mixed media and have a bit of a vintage feel to them. They are colorful and interesting.

I was very concerned about this book. It is a very long book with one situation after another in which Charlie worries and over-prepares. Never does someone soothe his fears. Instead, I leave the book feeling like perhaps I should be worrying more because I don't prepare like Charlie does. I feel this book sets children up for fears. I could see no other purpose of the story. It has no positive resolution in the end. Charlie's friends come over unexpectedly and Charlie is not prepared like he prefers to be.

This story is advertized for ages 3-7. I would not read this story to this age range as it may cause fears. I prefer stories that encourage positive thinking rather than the opposite. I love Judith Viorst, but I feel this is the first book of hers I have read that falls far short of the mark.

Jun 07, 2014

About a boy who worries about and prepares for all sorts of imagined situations — from a flood in his house to a bird swooping him up to her nest, from a lion eating him to being dragged into the sea by a mermaid... My toddler doesn't have any phobias (yet — knock on wood) but as I was reading this to him, I was thinking "I hope this doesn't freak him out!" Ultimately [spoiler alert], the last bit is about his surprise birthday party... and so maybe it's ok to not always be ready for any event. Fine enough message; I just wish we didn't have to consider a bunch of creepy scenarios along the way. Also, the cadence of the text is not all that friendly — there are rhymes if you look hard enough at the lines but they don't roll all that nicely.


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