A quick study of the picture book written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Caldecott honor winner Peter Brown. This wonderful little gem is published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
A short time ago, I posted a brief spiel about turning your negatives into positives. Around the same time, I had attended a writers’ group (of which I’ve been a member for years).
A fellow writer brought up the subject of a picture book she wasn’t crazy about. She said it was too creepy, this book about creepy green underwear. Imagine that––a picture book about underwear.
But the fact that they were creepy, that they glowed, intrigued me. So of course, I read the first few pages on the Amazon “look inside” feature. That’s what convinced me this was a book for my shelf. So I bought a copy.
It just goes to show that one person’s nightmare is another person’s dream. Anyway, I was a little leery I might not like the book after the first few pages. After all, I do trust the judgment of my writing friend. But then there’s that little warped part of me that she probably doesn’t have. The side that thinks glow-in-the-dark underwear would be cool.
And they really are, when you think about it. At least in the context of the book, where the little boy rabbit character is afraid of the dark, and yet trying to act like a big boy. He thought the underwear were awesome during broad daylight at the store. But he wasn’t so crazy about them when they glowed in the dark of his room. A creepy, ghoulish green glow. So he tries repeatedly to get rid of the underwear, but those creepy things keep mysteriously coming back.
That was a cool aspect of the book, but that’s also what I wasn’t sure about it. There is never an explanation as to how these underwear traveled from place to place, but I can see where a little kid would definitely believe it. I couldn’t help but wonder, did some crazy witch cast a spell on them? Or were they underwear left behind from Chucky? How could they just come back by themselves?
I really wanted an explanation to this. Not that I wouldn’t buy into the cursed underwear or magic spells stuff. Of course I would. I just wanted to know what gave these underwear the power to reappear every time the boy got rid of them. They were purchased in a store, not a haunted old castle. A store, so they were made by a manufacturer. So how did the manufacturer make these underwear magical? (Yes, I know I’m over-thinking it, but that’s me.)
Regardless, I’d still recommend the book to anyone for the sheer enjoyment of the story. It’ll make you laugh if you’ve ever been around a child a wee bit afraid of the dark, and yet one who, despite his fear, wanted to act grown up. Maybe that was you, once upon a time.
The thing is, Jasper, the little rabbit, fails again and again to get those creepy underwear out of his life, but he does finally manage it. I’m not going to tell you how. You’ll just have to read the book. Trust me––you’ll love it.
And then as the story goes, once the underwear are gone and Jasper is comfortable back in his plain, white, boring underwear, he goes to bed. In his dark, dark, bedroom. A bit too dark, he thinks. So now he wants the “glowing” underwear back. But it’s too late.His solution––he goes to the store and makes a major purchase. Now he has oodles of green glowing nightlights all through his room, and so he’s no longer afraid of what might be hiding in the dark. So this little boy turned a negative, creepy underwear, into a positive––a cool night light.
The book runs a couple spreads longer than the standard 32-page picture book, but it’s mostly illustrations, and wonderful ones at that (adorable expressions). My guesstimate is that it’s between 600 and 700 words.
Get the book Creepy Pair of Underwear!