PPBF: The Stupids Die


Author: Harry Allard
Illustrator: James Marshall
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1985
Ages: 5-8yrs
Themes: humorous stories
Opening: One morning Stanley Q. Stupid woke up with a funny feeling. “Something really stupid is going to happen today,” he said. “Oh, wow!” said the two Stupid kids.
Summary: (from my library catalog) The Stupid family think they are dead when the lights go out.


I like this book because: it’s just plain silly! Well, silly – yes, but plain? No! I don’t know if such a title could get published today, but I certainly hope it would. I love that each page has a singular idea that is so thought provoking you cannot help but linger; each illustration seems simple, yet has subtle clues that allow the reader to be in on the picture beyond the picture. As per usual, Marshall used a limited color palette. An easy choice? Maybe, yet the limitation pushes certain elements forward, as with the silhouette above or the fingernails below.



Resources/activities: If you think Mrs. stupids dress is so very preposterous, have a look at the dress below and the exhibit of feathered fashions HERE; read other titles in The Stupids series – list posted HERE; suggested use for the classroom at The Hungry Readers HERE


Perfect Picture Book Friday is on hiatus for the summer, but there are still plenty of selections on a themed and alphabetized list, each with teacher/parent resources, on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE


“That’s the only thing I truly envy Jim for. Deep envy. I think The Stupids Die is the best title ever. . .”
–– Maurice Sendak

14 thoughts on “PPBF: The Stupids Die

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