Thursday, July 28, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and nine

When we read most picture books we are an audience, and we are outside the tale looking in. We don't really interact with the characters. In today's picture book the situation is somewhat different. The story evolves before our eyes, and one of the characters very definitely does not want us to observe what he is doing. This makes reading Don't read this book! a rather unique experience. 

Jill Lewis
Illustrated by Deborah Allwright
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Tiger Tales, 2010, 978-1-58925-094-9
   The King has commissioned his story writer to write a new story for him, and he is not at all pleased because the story is not ready. When the story writer arrives at the palace, the poor fellow explains that he has lost the notes that he wrote about the story. The title is in place though. No, actually only half the title is legible because the paper on which it was written somehow got torn. The story writer and the King know that the title begins with “The Princess and the…” What is the rest of the title?
   Eager to find the missing piece of paper with the other half of the title on it, the King and his story writer travel to Beanstalk Crossroads, which is where the story writer was just a short time ago. They don’t find the title, but they do find some of the story writer’s notes, and the King finds out that his story “begins with a storm” and there is a princess and a king. This is certainly a good start, but where is the rest of the story? Oh, and who is the stranger who is spying on the King and the story writer?
   Readers of all ages are sure to enjoy this incredibly funny and very unique book. Readers will find themselves being pulled (almost literally) into the story. They will have to deal with a very angry king who does not want them to read the story. In fact, he becomes quite belligerent about it and he even threatens to throw us into prison. Thankfully the king is trapped on the pages and he cannot do anything to stop the reader from doing exactly what he or she wants to do. So, if you want to turn the page, go right ahead!

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