The Boy Who Wouldn't Read

( 1 )

Overview

Robbie doesn't like to read. Homework is horrible, libraries are boring, and his parents won't stop nagging him to pick up a book! Robbie wishes that he never has to read again. When the sorcerer Sileas appears to grant his wish, Sileas tries to warn Robbie that he'll be sorry for his stubbornness. But Robbie won't listen, and with a twirl of Sileas's magic wand, all the words in the world disappear.
Robbie's wish has come true, but the world is not the carefree place of his ...

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Overview

Robbie doesn't like to read. Homework is horrible, libraries are boring, and his parents won't stop nagging him to pick up a book! Robbie wishes that he never has to read again. When the sorcerer Sileas appears to grant his wish, Sileas tries to warn Robbie that he'll be sorry for his stubbornness. But Robbie won't listen, and with a twirl of Sileas's magic wand, all the words in the world disappear.
Robbie's wish has come true, but the world is not the carefree place of his dreams. Street signs are blank and money is worthless. Robbie is lost and alone, and without street signs, it is difficult to find his house. Without traffic signs, cars are crashing and people are confused about which bus to catch. When he finally makes his way back home, he thinks that life can't get any worse-but that's before he tries to fix himself a meal without the help of any food labels. What Robbie thinks is frozen pizza are actually popsicles, and his cookies are dog biscuits!
This topsy-turvy world without words isn't fun-it's dangerous, and Robbie is getting hungry. Sileas the sorcerer reappears, and Robbie tries to tell him that he's learned his lesson. But will the word-wielding wizard restore the world with words?

Denise Walter McConduit comes from a family of thirteen children and is a mother of four. She began writing at a young age, so it was only natural that she became a writer as an adult. Her work has appeared in Essence, Black New Orleans, and the New Orleans Tribune magazine. She is a columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She is also the author of Pelican's D.J. and the Debutante Ball, D.J. and the Zulu Parade, and D.J. and the Jazz Fest. McConduit considers herself a cultural ambassador for the city of New Orleans and has inspired countless children to read and write.

David Harrington's affinity for art began at an early age. The illustrator recalls drawing on floors, walls, furniture, and other inanimate objects. A native of southern California, Harrington pursued a career in illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where he earned a BFA with honors.
Harrington has illustrated numerous children's books. He believes that that they open a door to a new world and admits that he studied them for hours as a child. Harrington is also the illustrator of Pelican's Olï ! Cinco de Mayo!, Chachalaca Chiquita, and Pecos Bill Invents the Ten-Gallon Hat, which won the Western Writers of America Spur Award. Harrington lives with his wife and children in Laguna Hills, California.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 1–3—This well-intentioned book is marred by a didactic story and garish illustrations. Robbie hates to read. When he is punished one day for bad behavior, he gets mad and rips out the pages of all of his books. A sorcerer named Silas appears and, warning that Robbie will be sorry, makes all the words disappear so the boy will never have to read again. Robbie is elated at first, but soon realizes how difficult life is without traffic signs, written instructions, or labels on packaged foods and other products. Naturally, once the boy has learned his lesson, Silas returns the words, which magically converts Robbie into being an avid reader. The story is told in singsong verse with forced rhymes that often do not scan. Harrington's digital illustrations feature exaggerated facial expressions that hammer home the characters' reactions. Since the picture book is aimed at early elementary school readers, one has to wonder why the books depicted include Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, Don Quixote, The Odyssey, Arabian Nights, and Jane Eyre. No wonder the poor kid doesn't want to read.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455618293
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/30/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 532,094
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Denise Walter McConduit comes from a family of thirteen children and is a New Orleans native and mother of four. Her work has appeared in Essence, Black New Orleans, and the New Orleans Tribune. Currently, she serves on the advisory board of the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Also the author of Pelican's D.J. and the Debutante Ball, D.J. and the Zulu Parade, and D.J. and the Jazz Fest, she based her previous character on her son. McConduit lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.

David Harrington's affinity for art began at a young age, when he drew on everything-except paper. Since receiving a BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, he has illustrated numerous children's books, including Pelican's Pecos Bill Invents the Ten-Gallon Hat, winner of the WWA Spur Award, Chachalaca Chiquita, Ole! Cinco de Mayo!, and The Boy Who Wouldn't Read.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted September 29, 2013

    This beautiful children¿s book, with its brilliant rhyming forma

    This beautiful children’s book, with its brilliant rhyming format and exquisite, colorful pictures captured magnificently our world and the joys of reading. Through a jolly sorcerer and the eyes of an active boy, the writer and illustrator weaved a magical tale we can share with both children and adults. Kudos to Denise McConduit and David Harrington – they have produced a wonderful book that is a joy to read and share.

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