I Will Not Read This Book

( 1 )

Overview

This is the story of how the ultimate reluctant reader became a book lover.

The little boy in I Will Not Read This Book has a lot of excuses, because if there is one thing he doesn’t want to do, it’s read this book. He won’t read it even if you hang him upside down by one toe, over a cliff, with sharks down below. And you know what? You. Can’t. Make. Him. In this book illustrated with wit and whimsy by Joy Ang, Cece Meng delivers once again with a pitch-perfect reluctant reader...

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Overview

This is the story of how the ultimate reluctant reader became a book lover.

The little boy in I Will Not Read This Book has a lot of excuses, because if there is one thing he doesn’t want to do, it’s read this book. He won’t read it even if you hang him upside down by one toe, over a cliff, with sharks down below. And you know what? You. Can’t. Make. Him. In this book illustrated with wit and whimsy by Joy Ang, Cece Meng delivers once again with a pitch-perfect reluctant reader who is finally convinced to read the book if—and only if—someone he loves will read it with him.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reluctant readers are the target audience for this cri de coeur, narrated in hyperbolic fashion by a slender, pajama-clad boy. Meng (Tough Chicks) depicts the boy postponing his bedtime reading, admitting "sometimes there are words I don't know" and underscoring his resolve with a set of escalating perils: "I will not read this book even if you hang me upside down by one toe over a cliff while tickling my feet." Comics creator Ang pictures the boy dangling from a rope, a giddy blue monkey tickling away. As the boy piles on the torments (he would rather be "in a rainstorm with lightning above and sharks down below"), the monkey's demeanor shifts from gleeful to cranky to fearful. When the rope finally gives way, the boy's patient mother catches him, in a tranquil bedroom decorated with a toy monkey and shark. The book's accumulative format is tailor-made for readers who share the boy's trepidation about reading (the built-in repetition is ideal for confidence building). Without stating the obvious—the book gets read—Meng and Ang build silly suspense and wind down to a quiet resolution. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"Oh, yes, you will read this book. You’ll be reeled in by the feisty, angular, frequently exciting digital illustrations, not to mention that confrontational title."—Booklist "Suggest[s] that sharing a book with a parent can be reassuring, and [the] cheerful use of imagination makes for an enjoyable read." —School Library Journal
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
At bedtime, an adamant, little boy refuses to read his book. He will do anything to avoid reading it: preparing to go to bed by cleaning his teeth, washing up, and even cleaning beneath his bed. The boy feels that he cannot read well enough. He moans that he does not read fast and there are words he does not know. Basically, nothing is going to persuade him to read. The boy tells and builds upon the description of the torture that he would rather undergo instead of reading the book. He would rather go through a terrible storm hanging upside down by a single toe over a cliff with sharks circling down below him. However, readers will infer and subtly discover what he wants and what changes his mind at the end of the story. The illustrations, in a comical way, show what the little boy is willing to endure to avoid reading his book. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A small pajama-clad boy refuses to read before bedtime. He stalls by flossing his teeth, feeding his fish, and even cleaning under his bed, until declaring, "Reading is hard…and sometimes there are words I don't know"-a sentiment that should resonate with reluctant readers everywhere. "I will not read this book...AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME." The escalating scenarios get progressively outlandish, starting with "I will not read this book even if you hang me upside down," and ending with "I will not read this book even if you hang me upside down by one toe over a cliff while tickling my feet in a rainstorm with lightning above and sharks down below and a dragon comes along...and...there's a speeding train coming toward us and I sneeze and...YOU DROP ME." The boy finally gives in, but only if his mother will read with him. Ang's digitally rendered, crisp cartoon-style illustrations effectively convey the expressions on the boy's oversize face, ranging from stubbornness to alarm to joy. Layouts alternate between copious white space and full-page treatments with occasional humorous details. This book might not convince reluctant readers that reading is not scary, and it isn't a celebration of books like Barbara Bottner's Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don't) (Knopf, 2010). It does suggest that sharing a book with a parent can be reassuring, and its cheerful use of imagination makes for an enjoyable read.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, Chappaqua Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews

In an appeal to reluctant readers, Meng's cumulative text will provoke laughter as read-aloud fare.

Delay tactics open the story: A boy refuses to read his book, saying, "I have to floss my teeth and wash behind my ears and feed my fish." His real reason? "Reading is hard and I don't read fast and sometimes there are words I don't know." Eleven spreads detailing increasingly silly and extreme scenarios demonstrate his resolve through cumulative text displaying an absurdity reminiscent of Michael Ian Black's Purple Kangaroo (illustrated by Peter Brown, 2010): "I will not read this book even if you hang me upside down / by one toe / over a cliff / while tickling my feet in a rainstorm..." The boy ultimately says he will read the book if he is dropped from his imagined, precarious position hanging from the cliff—"But only if you catch me." The last page depicts mother, boy and book together, as Ang's illustration cleverly incorporates elements from the preceding spreads.

Although an engaging picture book with accomplished digital illustrations embodying a style akin to Dan Yaccarino's art, it's a shame the text lacks the control that would make it accessible to actual struggling readers. (Picture book. 3-7)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547049717
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 311,413
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Cece Meng is a school volunteer, Girl Scout leader, and gymnastics mom. She lives with her husband and their two children, a bird named Lulu, and three spotted rabbits in Santa Cruz, California. 

Joy Ang is an illustrator who has worked in both the comic and gaming industries. She lives in Edmonton, and is one of the editors/creators of a comic anthology called The Anthology Project.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Wonderful, Fun

    My kids loved this book. It's fun and exciting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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