Like many of the GeekFamily bibliophiles, I love a good picture book. Despite my children being largely past the age where they’re happy to read picture books, I’m always on the lookout for excellent new ones. I’m fortunate enough to be able to go into my children’s school and read to the Reception (Kindergarten) class, once a week, where I get to pick my favorite books and read them in silly voices. I’m not sure who enjoys it most, me or the children. (Actually, I totally do. It’s me.)
I don’t bump into great picture books so frequently these days, as I’m a little out of the loop but an old friend of mine shared on Facebook that his wife was publishing her new children’s book. I’m a good friend and I have a place to review books, so would have picked up a copy anyway, but when I found out the book was called I Don’t Like Books. Never. Ever. The End, I knew I was going to have to read it. I then discovered it was about books coming to life to inspire a reluctant reader with the thrill of reading.
I went straight out and bought a copy.
Why Read I Don’t Like Books. Never. Ever. The End?
Because it’s a great picture book. It has everything a good picture book needs, starting with top-notch illustrations (by Sharon Davey). The story opens with a mischievous child, Mabel, who doesn’t like to read, despite there being piles of books all over her house. “The books just kept on coming,” the book says. My children will identify with this, especially my middle son, who rolls his eyes at me whenever he receives a new book.
Mabel doesn’t like books “Never. Ever. The End.” Instead, she uses them for many things, including riding them down the stairs, making hats out of them, and even slurping her dinner off them. “But she couldn’t be bothered with the stories inside them.” Fortunately, before her parents can disown her, the books take action themselves. At this point, things start to get a bit “meta” as Mabel is sucked into the stories she has otherwise ignored. Once inside her books, she meets a knight, a detective, and an astronaut, but irritatingly (for Mabel) she keeps missing what happens in the story. She wants to join the adventure, but the stories abandon her.
As quick as she arrived Mabel finds herself back in her bedroom, surrounded by adventures, that she now can’t wait to read. She finally understands the message her parents have been trying to teach her. Books and reading are wonderful.
Zoomed, Zipped, Flipped, and Flapped.
The joy of this book, particularly for those of us who are reading it aloud, is the use of words like “zoomed,” “zipped,” and “hullabaloo.” There’s lots of great words to Exaggeeeerrrrate aaaand Enunciate, Verrrry, Clear-LY, when you’re reading. These words also stand out if you’re the reader the book, as they’re written using a child-like crayon font. The book has been designed to be engaging throughout – there’s even a double-page spread that can be turned on its side in order to read about Mabel falling into her books.
I Don’t Like Books. Never. Ever. The End is a well thought out, tactile reading experience, designed to switch children onto the magic of books. Coming from the same spiritual stable as The Day the Crayons Quit, there is simply nothing not to like. I Don’t Like Books Is an engaging tale about one life’s simplest pleasures, reading.
If you enjoyed this review, do check out my other Word Wednesday posts.