This colourful Picture Book begins with a rather startling statement! “Huh! Reading is rubbish!” So says a young man sitting on a park bench. Another young man flying a plane says that he loves stories because you feel like you are there. Other advice from a youngster suggests choosing books more carefully, and a Librarian offers help to find a book the boy will enjoy. More suggestions include Superman’s offer to read comics, and a dog who loves joke books. This is not a story book, but a book about choosing a storybook.
Cleverly, Vivian French has given a negative point of view, such as “I’m too busy to read”, and countered it with suggestions such as “I read in bed before I go to sleep”, and “read when you are supposed to be working”. The comic preference is reinforced many times by Superman himself. Books that are for girls are not out of bounds either, as some boys read a few pages to see if they will enjoy the storyline, and likewise many girls enjoy boy type adventure books.
Issues are discussed such as “Reading is hard…” and complicated too. Kids with Dyslexia explain how they find reading difficult and some children wear special glasses to help them decode. A wolf with headphones is thoroughly enjoying a story and happy about hearing it, while Picture Books are enjoyed by all ages. After all, you watch TV and that’s pictures. Bedtime reading is shown to be a warm and sharing time for all. The idea of having to finish a book you don’t enjoy is discussed, and most people say that if you have given it a few pages then still don’t like it then choose another.
This is a great book to introduce to children who have become jaded with reading. Every excuse for not reading is looked at and answered (especially by Superman) who loves comics. Children and families often feel that there is no one in a story who looks like them, and suggest that authors take up the challenge of varying their characters.
The clever illustrations by Nigel Baines certainly add to the text, and in very creative ways. The Librarian is a horse, and Darth Vader suggests reading about a favourite film.
The text is on a cream background to assist those children with visual issues, and many concerns children have are addressed in a stimulating and humorous way.
|Author||Vivian French illustrated by Nigel Baines|
|Publisher||Faber Factory/Barrington Stokes|