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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

Home - Middle Row

Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

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Because when your kids are reading, they're not setting fire to things 

This post is sponsored by Chronicle Books. Who doesn't like books? Nobody I'd like to know, is who.

I made this video today, and the thing you need to know is that my film-editor husband was working so I put this together in iMovie by MYSELF and I am quite proud of me. Also, that is a terrible freeze-frame. Although really, is there ever a good one?


Did you enjoy my use of the iMovie music? Scott is rolling his eyes, probably, or he will be, when he sees this. This is not what this post was supposed to be about. Reading! It's about reading.

The Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure Novels are Chronicle’s new series for kids. They are similar in format to your classic Choose Your Own Adventure books, but, I think, more appropriate for kids of Henry's age and sophistication.  (He wears a tux to bed.) Henry tore through all three of them within a week. There's one about the Amazon, one about Everest, and one that's Mars-themed. Here's the trailer for the Mars one. It's pretty great. (Almost as great as the video I recently created. Maybe you've heard of it? It's right up there.)

Want these books for a child in your life, or maybe for you? (I'm not going to judge you if you want them for yourself.) Leave a comment. What's the first book you remember falling in love (or at least deep like) with as a kid?  Tell me! I'll pick a winner at random.

I remember my first book-love all too clearly. It was a picture book. Each page featured photos: heaps of pastel cookies, climbed on by curious, fuzzy kittens. I don't remember the story. I just remember the cookies and kittens. The kittens and cookies. It was a magical, soft-focus and probably unhygienic world, and I wanted to be in it. Eating the cookies, owning the kittens. I hope I was a toddler when I had this book, but who knows? I might have been twelve. I was probably not twelve. But I can guarantee you that if I had found that book when I was twelve, I would have kept it, and maybe looked at it every night.


Reader Comments (119)

I loved the book Black Beauty as a child. I was obsessed with horses, so that probably had a lot to do with it.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMamorrell

I really enjoyed hitting pause at random moments. Never a dull visage!

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLOD

I read the Chronicles of Narnia in order, backwards, in rearranged chronological order, in order of most favorite to least and vice versa... and now I really really want these Choose Your Own Adventure-but-more-appropriate-for-my-8-year-old-bookworm son. If I don't win, I'm buying them (or, ok, looking for them at the library).

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrobin

I loved the Paddington Bear books. The first book that I could read to myself.... Willy Wonka.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKJP

Where the Sidewalk Ends! Loved the poems and illustrations.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

Can't remember the first, but my longest-lasting love affair was with the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEllen

That was hilarious! My 12 year old also likes all of the "adverb" action books and he tries to mimic the style in his writing for school which drives me bonkers. He also loves me to read his books too so we can talk about them. I can't tell you how many weird fantasy books I've slugged through so we can talked swords, "destinies" and epic battles together.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeg

I loved these wide format Karl Laarsen (did I get over enthusiastic with the a's?) books. There were no words, or I couldn't read them. Just prints of his depictions of home life in Scandinavia. Lots of girls in pinafores. Long, wispy braids. Window seats. Houses with red wainscoting. An abundance of bright linens. I could not get enough, I tell you! As for books with words-- probably the oz books, the minor ones about ozma and tick tock and the patchwork man.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara

The first book I love was Island of the Blue Dolphins with Where the Red Fern Grows coming in a close second. And of course, all of the Judy Blume books! I love, love, love books and now I have passed that on to my boys. They are always reading and the new toys at Christmas usually take a back seat to whatever new series they received instead.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim

I'm going to start with a tangent, Alice. (Can one start with a tangent? Is that an oxymoron somehow?) Your hair! Is fantastic! I love your hair.

As a kid, I remember falling in love with a book called "The Magic Meadow", by Alexander Key. Perhaps you know him, or some of his other books, like "Return to Witch Mountain", which was made into a Disney Movie?

A decade or so ago, I tried to recover this lost childhood treasure (which I had borrowed from the library) and found that most of Mr. Key's books are out of print. I was able to find the two Witch Mountain books as used books. And The Forgotten Door was back in print. But The Magic Meadow? Out of print, and the used copies (for paperbacks!!!) were selling for somewhere in the neighbourhood of $80. Just imagine paying that and then reading the book and thinking, "Man, that wasn't really so great." Tragic.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFawn

Oh goodness, The Great Brain books are on my mind because I looooooved them, and my attempts to foist them on my 8-year-old are so far unsuccessful. The good news is she is busy reading Roald Dahl.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFer

According to my mother, the first book I read was "Pickle juice, pickle juice, pickle pickle pickle juice. Pickle pickle pickle pickle pickle pickle pickle juice." Or something. I'm paraphrasing. Oh, wait! Look! There it is!

But the first books I recall loving passionately were the Lloyd Alexander "Book of Three" series. They were much longer when I was a kid than they were when I re-read them as a young(ish) adult.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterI, Rodius

The Book of Three books are what I was referring to in the video! Lloyd does love his adverbs, she stated bluntly.

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

I loved so many books as a child; I was a book whore. (I guess technically that's not true since no one was paying me.) I spent long hours with all the volumes of the Childcraft series (which I have handed down to my kids), as well as the "A" volume of the Encyclopedia because it had these really awesome layouts of the anatomy of a human and a frog. Also, the Richard Scarry and Dr. Seuss dictionaries, respectively. Apparently I loved reference books?

May 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdgm

Of course, the damn Giving Tree. Probably because I was on the "taking" end of the equation. Now that I am on the "giving" end, I find it a little less lovable. I kid. Mostly.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarrieP

I loved quite a few picture books ... Richard Scarry, "Katie & the Computer," "The Napping House," "Once upon a Time in the Meadow" ... later it was Little Women, Roald Dahl, Where the Red Fern Grows, and more. I still read voraciously.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatalia

"...intolerant and kind of delicate", L.O.V.E. it! Totally made me giggle - well, that and the "boing".

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNellaBean

Oh, and the first book love I remember was Muppets at Sea. My mom did anything she could to get out of reading that one to me before bed.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNellaBean

I'm sure there were books that I loved before this one, but Bridge to Terabithia is the first one I really remember loving. I read it over and over and bawled my little 8 year old eyes out every time.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKayla

My first favourite was "Popcorn." Some bears make a lot of popcorn and it fills up the house and spills out the windows, hilarity ensues.
My real favourites as a bigger kid were the "What Katie Did" series. As a nine year old, I desperately wanted to live at the turn of the century and be sent away by train to boarding school, where I would get up to all kinds of mischief and hilarity would ensue!
I think I had that "Pickle Juice" one mentioned above. It may have been in a set with "Popcorn" and another one I loved, "Witches Four."

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

My early early book love was for a giant story coloring book that my uncle brought for my cousins and I when I was super young. I was obsessed with the huge monster illustrations I got to fill in.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAarika

according to my mother, my first favorite book when I was a toddler was "The Monster at the End of this Book". I discovered Madeline L'Engle in middle school and LOVED her books.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaime

Early favorites: "A Hole is to Dig", "The Borrowers" ,"The Little Princess"

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen W.

My absolute favorite as a kid was Muncus Agruncus, A Bad Little Mouse. I also loved One Monster After Another.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKendra

My favorite book as a kid was The Monster at the End of This Book. Until
I got a little older and read Anne of Green Gables.

May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBellevelma

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