Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Will Not Read This Book by Cece Meng illustrated by Joy Ang

One little boy has an annoucement: he will not read this book. No matter how what happens, the book will not get read. He can be hanging from a cliff, there could be a monkey involved, it could be a life-or-death situation and he would still not read this book. Is there anything that could happen to change his mind?

Books about kids who don't want to read books present a reassuring line to people who don't see themselves as readers. As much as I love to see kids enthusiastically grabbing and pouring over books, I know that there are probably just as many kids who aren't likely to pick up a book on their own. One of the strengths, I think, of the book is that (spoiler alert) it doesn't swing all the way to the other side of the spectrum at the end of the book. The boy doesn't become a passionate advocate of reading; he doesn't decide that he loves books after all. He grudgingly accepts that reading might not be so bad, especially if his mom will read with him. And to me that's a much more realistic ending for a boy like this one. The story used humour effectively and the wide-ranging scenarios that the boy imagines make it exciting and dangerous while still in a safe environment. I responded very positively to Joy Ang's illustrations and the different expressions that the boy adopts over the course of the book. I could easily see this book as an animated short movie (both in story and look). This is a fun book to share with kids - both kids who see themselves as readers (it will be absurd to see a kid go to such lengths to avoid reading) and those who do not (who might find it reassuring to know that there are other people out there who feel like they do, even if they are fictional characters).

Find it at IndieBound. 

Read it with:
Tough Chicks by Cece Meng
The Qalupalik by Elisha Kilabuk illustrated by Joy Ang
Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I Don't) by Barbara Bottner
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

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