The Boy & the Book

The Boy & the Book

by David Michael Slater, Bob Kolar
     
 

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In this wordless story, a library book tries desperately to evade the destructive clutches of a little boy. What drives the Boy, however, is enthusiasm and love—not malice—and the Book eventually responds in kind, accepting his rough but worthy fate.See more details below

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Overview

In this wordless story, a library book tries desperately to evade the destructive clutches of a little boy. What drives the Boy, however, is enthusiasm and love—not malice—and the Book eventually responds in kind, accepting his rough but worthy fate.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/05/2015
Slater’s (The Bored Book) wordless story seems headed toward a lesson about mistreating library books, but the lesson turns out to be one of surprising compassion. The book abuser is a young library visitor with a mop of black hair who grabs a blue book while the others flee (all of the books have expressive faces and sticklike appendages). A question mark above the boy’s head as he opens the book signals his non-reader status. Instead, he holds it upside down, rips it, tosses it, and folds the pages, accompanied by anguished looks from the book itself. On a return visit, the book’s efforts to avoid the boy are futile, and he strikes again. But then something wonderful happens: the boy learns to read, and he and the book are reconciled. Kolar’s (Stomp, Stomp!) digitally made figures are crisp and flat, and the expressions on the books’ faces do their comic work effectively. Library champions don’t usually tolerate the ill-treatment of books, but sometimes, Slater implies, what looks like bad behavior is just boundless eagerness. Ages 2–5. Author’s agent: Jennifer Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
*A nearly wordless picture book presents the "I can read" moment.
A small boy with a determined, mischievous expression enters a library in the company of his mother. The look on the boy's face, perfectly rendered by Kolar (as are all the expressions), alarms the library books, and they run for their lives. The boy captures a blue-bound book and begins manhandling it as he would any toy, in the process ripping and creasing the pages. The other books look on, horrified. The boy's mother (who, unsettlingly, seems to care not a whit that the boy has mistreated a book) comes to get him. He tosses the book to the floor as he leaves. The other books lovingly glue and tape the battered book back together. A new day, and—horrors!—the boy returns. Again, the books scatter. But then the blue-bound book sees the boy's forlorn expression and suddenly understands. The book leaps from its safe perch to the boy, the boy opens the book, and it is here that the four words of text make their powerful statement—"Once upon a time." For the boy has learned to read, and now books are cherished and library manners learned.
Presented as a grand adventure, the moment when a child first learns to read is powerfully rendered in this well-made story. -Kirkus Reviews, *starred review

Slater's (The Bored Book) wordless story seems headed toward a lesson about mistreating library books, but the lesson turns out to be one of surprising compassion. The book abuser is a young library visitor with a mop of black hair who grabs a blue book while the others flee (all of the books have expressive faces and sticklike appendages). A question mark above the boy's head as he opens the book signals his non-reader status. Instead, he holds it upside down, rips it, tosses it, and folds the pages, accompanied by anguished looks from the book itself. On a return visit, the book's efforts to avoid the boy are futile, and he strikes again. But then something wonderful happens: the boy learns to read, and he and the book are reconciled. Kolar's (Stomp, Stomp!) digitally made figures are crisp and flat, and the expressions on the books' faces do their comic work effectively. Library champions don't usually tolerate the ill-treatment of books, but sometimes, Slater implies, what looks like bad behavior is just boundless eagerness.
-Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-12-22
A nearly wordless picture book presents the "I can read" moment.A small boy with a determined, mischievous expression enters a library in the company of his mother. The look on the boy's face, perfectly rendered by Kolar (as are all the expressions), alarms the library books, and they run for their lives. The boy captures a blue-bound book and begins manhandling it as he would any toy, in the process ripping and creasing the pages. The other books look on, horrified. The boy's mother (who, unsettlingly, seems to care not a whit that the boy has mistreated a book) comes to get him. He tosses the book to the floor as he leaves. The other books lovingly glue and tape the battered book back together. A new day, and—horrors!—the boy returns. Again, the books scatter. But then the blue-bound book sees the boy's forlorn expression and suddenly understands. The book leaps from its safe perch to the boy, the boy opens the book, and it is here that the four words of text make their powerful statement—"Once upon a time." For the boy has learned to read, and now books are cherished and library manners learned. Presented as a grand adventure, the moment when a child first learns to read is powerfully rendered in this well-made story. (Picture book. 2-5)
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
What does “Reading Is Fun” really mean? To one energetic little boy it means playtime with a book as his partner in mayhem. After his mother drops him off in the children’s library, the boy spots his favorite blue book and proceeds to flip, shake, tear, and throw it until the poor book becomes battered and exhausted. (His mom did not seem to notice.) The book’s friends rush with tape, glue, and bits of paper to help him recover. Another day, the destructive boy shows up again, grinning delightedly, and chases Blue Book around the stacks. The book is horrified and so are his friends, but Grey Book has a plan. Swinging down on the “Reading Is Fun” sign, Yellow Book whisks his blue friend to the top of the shelves, out of reach of his tormenter. Young viewers may be surprised to see the boy start crying. When Blue Book relents and jumps down, another surprise awaits, leading to a final illustration showing just how captivating quiet reading can be. Big digital illustrations on wide horizontal spreads will make the tale exciting for preschool listeners and could inspire slightly older kids to add words to the story. Kolar’s vertical lines and blocks of color form a vivid background for the action, the boy’s shock of black hair, and his wonderfully expressive and oversized face. A pleasing palette of light blues (endpapers match) and glowing orange is varied by yellow, green, brown, and rose for the other books. Readers might also enjoy Kirsten Hall and Dasha Tolstikova’s The Jacket (Enchanted Lion, 2014) about a different blue book who gets an amusing new cover. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft; Ages 3 to 6.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580895620
Publisher:
Charlesbridge
Publication date:
03/10/2015
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
481,888
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
NP (what's this?)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

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