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From the PublisherNEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW - Children's Bookshelf - Feb 12, 2010
This wordless book begins perfectly, with an image of two bored siblings fighting on the sofa in Grandfather’s study while he looks on morosely. Then he opens a secret door leading to a cobwebby attic where a mysterious tome awaits: like characters in a wittier version of the Magic Tree House series, the brother and sister fall through the pages and into perilous adventures involving snow monsters and pirates. We get the message, and so do they.
This wordless picture book is about two siblings, a boy and a girl, who become very bored while staying with their grandfather. In response to their bickering, their grandfather opens a secret door to the attic where the children find a magical book with a huge fold out map. Each square in the map is a door to another world. Although the children are unaware of it, each of these worlds represents a different book. They encounter pirates from Treasure Island and a dragon from King Aruther and the Knights of the Round Table. These exhilarating and terrifying adventures bring the children closer together. When they return to their grandfather's library, they look at the covers on the books and realize that they have just experienced the power of reading. Eager to jump back into another adventure, the children pick up a book and start reading.
This beautifully illustrated book celebrates what we all love about books: their power to transport us anywhere. The lack of text means that readers can use their imaginations and be creative about what happens to the children when they enter the different worlds. This book could be a good starting point for a discussion about the joy of reading.
Thematic Links: Reading, Adventures
"Wordless picture books were a popular trend when I opened shop in 1982. They have continued since on what I would call a lesser degree. However, a new and exciting wordless book is now available. THE BORED BOOK by David Michael Slater, illustrations by Doug Keith (Simply Read Books, 2009, $16.95) opens in a living room scene where an adult and two children are spending an afternoon. The adult is quietly reading as the two children are engaged in physical play. The adult moves a bookcase exposing a set of steps. The children scramble up the stairs to find them selves in a dusty attic filled with bookshelves. When the children take THE BORED BOOK from the shelf the black and white illustrations turn to color and the adventure begins. When they have experienced a series of harrowing adventures, the children return to the first room with the adult. Now they find the the books of the adventures they have experienced. Books like TREASURE ISLAND and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. The artwork here is spectacular and sweeping in its scope. The dream sequences are one part frightening but more mystical in nature. They compel the reader to turn the page anticipating and questioning, what’s next? A most satisfying read, believe me."
Review from Confuzzled Books
Here is a picture book that is just that. Full of fun and imaginary pictures, no words. I described the first half of this picture book on Twitter as I read it and I realized you could describe the picture differently each time. The first pages say so much about the story: Grandpa is sitting in a chair with a book on his lap, watching his grandchildren fight because they are bored. What I enjoyed most about this book was the colorful drawings. (Not all the book is in color, some of it is in detailed pencil drawings.) These pictures say so much about the adventures you can take while reading, whether you are being pushed off a plank by pirates or chased by a yeti. Books can make everything less boring.
"The book arrived yesterday, and WOW - it is AMAZING! My kids were absolutely riveted!!! Picture this - the kids are fighting and bickering and mommy (me) is yelling and then... the doorbell rings. There is a package. The kids stop yelling at eachother and pounce on the package like a starved lion pounces on a piece of fresh meat. Tearing wildly, manilla stuffing everywhere. They get to the kill, and it's, THE BORED book! I sit them down and explain what a special type of book it is. I start to "read" it to them. The first picture is exactly like they were, bickering, and bored. They are quiet as church mice, eyes wide as saucers.
Now, the miracle. I'm making dinner. The bickering starts up again. I say to my daughter, "Honey, why don't you read the Bored Book to your brother!" She says, "OKAY!" and for the next 15 minutes, I don't hear a SOUND! She is on the couch, "reading" the book to him. Just like the boy and girl at the end of the story.
The book is just AWESOME! David Michael Slater's creativity and imagination knows no bounds. He is truly one of a kind! The story absolutely ROCKS! - Sally Shields, Author