The Book That Did Not Want to Be Read

S. & S. Feb. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781665910811.
K-Gr 3–This book definitely makes it very difficult for readers to read it, leading to mayhem and hilarity with pages that grow, shrink, spin, and disappear! When chosen by a youngster at bedtime, this book warns that perhaps a different book might be a better choice. With old-fashioned red and green script and decorations that fill the cream-colored pages, the story is definitely one that is meant to be read aloud, but with lots of attention to the pages. Each time a page is turned, the book presents another difficulty, from closing itself to growing wings and trying to fly away, to “burning” the pages in places that claim to be hot to the touch. The words turn into songs, fade, grow, switch vowels, become a fill-in-the-blanks story, and generally cause mayhem. Along the way, strange pictures appear for no reason, and the addition of the rabbit, alligator, top hat, or other quirky thing just makes the journey more absurd. All ends well with a sweet good night shared and a promise.
VERDICT This is a hilarious and thoughtful book, so much more than a funny read-aloud; the drawings and layout are essential elements that demonstrate how the visual arrangement of a book can communicate a whole story.

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