Do Not Open This Book!

Overview


In the spirit of the bestselling classics DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! and THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK comes a riotously funny, interactive picture book from a hot new team.

"Excuse me, but who do you think you are, opening this book when the cover clearly says, DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK? The reason you weren't supposed to open this book is because it is not yet written!...You think it's easy to put words together? Hah! Now go away--I need time to think."
So begins ...

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Overview


In the spirit of the bestselling classics DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! and THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK comes a riotously funny, interactive picture book from a hot new team.

"Excuse me, but who do you think you are, opening this book when the cover clearly says, DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK? The reason you weren't supposed to open this book is because it is not yet written!...You think it's easy to put words together? Hah! Now go away--I need time to think."
So begins Pig's valiant attempt to pen his masterpiece. But he is constantly interrupted by the reader who is seduced at every turn into foiling his efforts ("please go away" "please do not turn the page")--until at last we reach the final page & discover that together, Pig & the reader have indeed created a book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PW 1/9/06 Starred
Reverse psychology drives this voice-bubble monologue, whose curmudgeonly narrator-a pink pig in a purple stocking cap-implores readersnot to turn the pages. He appears on the inside flap, sniping, "Excuse me, but did you read the front cover of this book- Are you always so rude-" Next, readers interrupt him in his woodshop, where ladders, pylons and boxes of "dangerous words" and "nouns" suggest a work in progress. "The reason you weren't supposed to open this book is because it is not yet written," he frowns, as disorganized scraps flutter about, each labeled with a single word like instant-poetry refrigerator magnets. The pig sneakily gets revenge by wondering, "What's your name-" and begging for participation in a fill-in-the-blanks rubric ("There once was a giant pest named _____.... It did not matter how many times _____ was asked togo away , _____ would not go"). Muntean makes sure he protests too much, daring readers to press their luck, and Lemaitre (the Who's Got Game- series) provides the author with tiny sidekicks-a round brown spider and violet-blue fly-who mimic his gestures and imply that he's harmless. Like Mo Willems's Pigeon books, this makes an excellent read-aloud, with abundant opportunities for hammy acting. Ages 4-8.(Mar.)

Kirkus
A determined pig scolds readers for interfering with the creative process as he labors to write a story. "You think it's easy to put words together? Hah! Now go away! I need time to think," he grouses from an upside-down yoga position. As readers persist in turning the pages, he gets crosser and crosser, finally writing a story about a giant pest and inviting readers to fill in the blanks with their own names. Lemaitre's illustrations set a cartoony pig in an implied workshop filled with boxes of adverbs, nouns and "salty words," among others. As a picture of the imagination at work, it's a busy one, glue pots and rakes sharing space with bulldozers, as the author needs them. As a conceit, however, it strains somewhat to maintain interest over the course of 32 pages, Muntean's pig's sudden reconciliation to the reader-turned-character a little abrupt and inconsistent with the appealing grouchiness that's gone before. There are other stories about writing and reading stories—Allan Ahlberg's Half a Pig (2004) and James Stevenson's No Laughing, No Smiling, No Giggling (2004) come to mind—that have a little more substance to sustain the fun. (Picture book. 5-9)

Booklist
K–Gr. 3. In this playful send-up of the writing process, the illusion of trespassing boundaries is a big part of the fun. Recriminations (“Are you always so rude?”) begin on the endpapers and continue as children penetrate deeper into what a pig character identifies as his own, in-progress book. Turning the pages appears to wreak havoc on the narrative within, as words shake loose; form new, unintended sentences; and enrage the frustrated auteur–until he discovers that the unwanted intrusions have, in the circular fashion so beloved of postmodernism, created the very story he had struggled to produce. Along with hand lettering Muntean's text, LeMaitre contributes bright, comics-style pictures that clarify the occasionally dizzying concepts (the words of the story-within-the-story, for instance, are represented on individual placards, making the constant reconfigurations easy to follow). Similarities to titles such as James Stevenson's Don't Make Me Laugh (2003) are obvious, but children will be no less enraptured by the irreverent, interactive premise and will emerge with a fresh understanding of the powerful (sometimes wayward) qualities of words. –Jennifer Mattson

BCCB
Like Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (BCCB 5/03), this title hinges on a prohibition, but there's a twist to this one: if you obey it, you miss the story. The book is primed for likely disobedience, however, and it reproves the refract

Publishers Weekly
Reverse psychology drives this voice-bubble monologue, whose curmudgeonly narrator-a pink pig in a purple stocking cap-implores readers not to turn the pages. He appears on the inside flap, sniping, "Excuse me, but did you read the front cover of this book? Are you always so rude?" Next, readers interrupt him in his woodshop, where ladders, pylons and boxes of "dangerous words" and "nouns" suggest a work in progress. "The reason you weren't supposed to open this book is because it is not yet written," he frowns, as disorganized scraps flutter about, each labeled with a single word like instant-poetry refrigerator magnets. The pig sneakily gets revenge by wondering, "What's your name?" and begging for participation in a fill-in-the-blanks rubric ("There once was a giant pest named _____.... It did not matter how many times _____ was asked to go away, _____ would not go"). Muntean makes sure he protests too much, daring readers to press their luck, and Lemaitre (the Who's Got Game? series) provides the author with tiny sidekicks-a round brown spider and violet-blue fly-who mimic his gestures and imply that he's harmless. Like Mo Willems's Pigeon books, this makes an excellent read-aloud, with abundant opportunities for hammy acting. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
This book combines a postmodern story line with wonderful illustrations. Michaela Muntean's main character, a pig, will appeal to readers of all ages. From the beginning pages, the pig begs readers not to open the book because it is not yet written and is just a jumble of words on a blank page along with a sign that reads, "Caution: Thinking in Progress." The pig begs readers, "Do not turn pages while I am working" and to sit very quietly. Later the pig says, "I warned you about what might happen if you turned the pages." Readers will see the book slowly evolve from blank pages and a jumble of words to a fully crafted story in which they are starring characters. Pascal Lemaitre's drawings show the art and craft of writing a book with humor and creativity. This title will appeal to children and is guaranteed to draw laughs with each flip of the page.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-After admonishing youngsters for ignoring the volume's title, a peevish pig explains that the book is not yet written, indicating a blank page and a hodgepodge of words printed on rectangle banners. Using numerous exclamation points, the "author" repeatedly-and rudely-tells everyone to get lost so that he can get to work. Eventually realizing that the spectators won't budge, the pig demands silence, climbs a ladder, and carefully glues and nails words to the wall, forming the beginning of a story. Unfortunately, the next page-turn blows the words around and when they settle down, they now describe a ferocious mouse that appears on the scene. And so it goes, until the exasperated porker pens an insulting tale about a "giant pest," telling readers to say their names whenever there's a blank in the narrative. Then the pig declares the book completed, heads to bed, and dreams about literary accolades. The loose-lined, messy-looking cartoons in glossy, bold colors suit the text's truculent tone. Comical details include boxes of words (labeled "verbs," "animals," etc.) and a spider and fly that assist and poke fun at their friend. Although the story is a bit monotone and the humor stretches thin, this offering might make a lighthearted starting point for discussions of creativity and the writing process.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A determined pig scolds readers for interfering with the creative process as he labors to write a story. "You think it's easy to put words together? Hah! Now go away! I need time to think," he grouses from an upside-down yoga position. As readers persist in turning the pages, he gets crosser and crosser, finally writing a story about a giant pest and inviting readers to fill in the blanks with their own names. Lemaitre's illustrations set a cartoony pig in an implied workshop filled with boxes of adverbs, nouns and "salty words," among others. As a picture of the imagination at work, it's a busy one, glue pots and rakes sharing space with bulldozers, as the author needs them. As a conceit, however, it strains somewhat to maintain interest over the course of 32 pages, Muntean's pig's sudden reconciliation to the reader-turned-character a little abrupt and inconsistent with the appealing grouchiness that's gone before. There are other stories about writing and reading stories-Allan Ahlberg's Half a Pig (2004) and James Stevenson's No Laughing, No Smiling, No Giggling (2004) come to mind-that have a little more substance to sustain the fun. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439698399
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2006
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 256,806
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Michaela Muntean is the author of numerous books, including Do Not Open This Book!

Pascal Lemaitre is the illustrator of several books for children, including DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK! and the New York Times bestseller WHO'S GOT GAME? He lives with his wife and daughter and divides his time between Brooklyn, New York, and Brussels, Belgium.

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