The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything (ISBN 0064431835) is a 1986 American children's picture book of twenty-nine pages. The story is by Linda Williams and the illustrations are by Megan Lloyd.
The story concerns an old woman who, while walking home through a forest one evening, encounters several items of clothing and a pumpkin head which appear to be alive (or possibly possessed by ghostly spirits). Although she continues to insist that she is not afraid, the woman runs away from the garments and the pumpkin. When the pumpkin head and the clothes come to the old woman's house, she tells them how they can make themselves useful instead of trying to frighten her.
Although the word "Halloween" does not appear anywhere in The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, the books plot, themes and illustrations make it ideal reading for the holiday. It is clear from the illustrations that the story takes place in the autumn. Keen-eyed children may notice a jack-o-lantern on the little old lady's neighbor's porch in the book's second illustration.
There is a lot of repetition in The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. This means that very young children can easily join in with the telling of the story when the book is read to them. It also makes the book a good choice for reading aloud at kindergarten classes, libraries or Halloween parties for very young children.
The books title character goes out one afternoon to gather food from the forest near her home. When night begins to fall, she decides to go home. On the path in front of her, two clomping shoes suddenly appears. The old woman tells the shoes that she is not afraid of them and continues walking. The shoes keep following her from behind. Soon afterwards, the old lady comes across a pair of wiggling pants, a shaking shirt, two gloves which clap and a black top hat which nods. The old lady tells each item of clothing that she is not afraid of it and carries on walking. All of the garments keep following her from behind.
A floating pumpkin head suddenly appears in front of the old woman and says, "Boo, Boo!" At this point, the old woman decides to run home. All of the clothes and the pumpkin head continue to follow her. When she gets home, the old woman locks the door and calms herself down. There is a knock at the door. The old woman opens it and sees the living clothes and the pumpkin head again. She asks them what they want. The pumpkin replies that they have come to scare her. When the old woman says that they cannot frighten her, the pumpkin asks, "Then what's to become of us?" The old woman whispers a suggestion and the pumpkin nods in agreement.
The next morning, the old woman looks out of her bedroom window at her garden. She sees the shoes which clomp, the pants which wiggle, the shirt which shakes, the clapping gloves, the nodding top hat and the pumpkin head that says, "Boo, Boo!". Having followed the little old lady's advice, the pumpkin and the clothes have come together to make a scarecrow.