Will You Read to Me?

Overview

When you are little and you've learned to read, and you've learned to write a poem all by yourself, you'd like someone big to put his arm around you and say, "Wow! Wonderful! You are terrific!"

Hamlet's pig family is more interested in supper than poetry. Sadly, he wanders off into the night woods with his book and his poems.

And there Hamlet finds something powerfully surprising. Something good and grand and ...

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Overview

When you are little and you've learned to read, and you've learned to write a poem all by yourself, you'd like someone big to put his arm around you and say, "Wow! Wonderful! You are terrific!"

Hamlet's pig family is more interested in supper than poetry. Sadly, he wanders off into the night woods with his book and his poems.

And there Hamlet finds something powerfully surprising. Something good and grand and terrific.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This sweet-tempered book features lonely Hamlet-a pig who just doesn't fit in with the rest of his family. He wears clean tennis shoes, doesn't like mud and loves to read and write poetry. Hamlet's benighted parents not only refuse to read his new book to him, but they belittle his efforts to write poems. "It's a good thing there's not two of him," says one relative, and Hamlet's brother adds, "Twins.... Hamlet and Eggs." The slovenly, mean-spirited hogs fight through the mud to get to their fresh slops as sweet-tempered Hamlet wanders off towards the farmer's pond undaunted. When Hamlet mistakes his pond reflection for his twin, he is disappointed when the "twin" doesn't respond to the poetry he recites. But he soon finds he's had an appreciative audience all along when a multitude of woodland critters ask, "Will you read to us?" Hamlet's endearing misbuttoned shirt, floppy ears and insouciant grin help Cazet (The Perfect Pumpkin Pie) convey that this is a child-sized Everypoet rather than a priggish stick in the mud. The full-bleed watercolor and colored pencil illustrations feature the golden hues of sunset and deep greens and blues of the pastoral landscape, making it evident how nature has captured Hamlet's eye. Ages 3-6. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
Young Hamlet is not like the other pigs. Instead of wallowing in the mud, he would like to be read to, or to read to others the poems he has written. When the other pigs make fun of him he walks away, watches the moon, and writes a new poem at the edge of the pond. In the water, he seems to see his twin looking back. He reads him his poems but is dismayed when the "twin" goes away in the dark. He fears he did not like his poems. But a chorus of other creatures around the pond say they did, and ask him to read to them, to his happy surprise. This not-so-subtle plea for appreciating differences includes both rhyming and non-rhyming poems that might encourage readers to try their own. Cazet's colored pencils and watercolors visualize the piggy behavior of Hamlet's family as well as the poetic calm of the lovely moonrise. As an anthropomorphic porker, Hamlet exudes artistic sensitivities. The sketchy naturalistic scenes that inspire his poetry are suitable subjects. The gang of mixed creatures, his appreciative audience, add a visual accent.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3
Hamlet's porcine family and neighbors share very few of his interests. While the other pigs are primarily concerned with the trough and mud, Hamlet likes to read books and write poetry. When no one in his family will listen to his latest creation, he takes off for a nearby pond. There he watches the moon rise and sits near the water's edge, working on a new poem. Eventually, he becomes aware of his "twin" looking at him from the pond and regales it with his delightful lines. At first he takes his bobbing reflection as validation, but as the night becomes darker and his twin disappears, he is disappointed by the lack of response. Just when he feels his poetry has gone unappreciated, frogs, ducks, and other woodland critters call out to him: "Will you read to us?" Sitting beneath a tree, Hamlet has the pleasure of sharing his terrific gift with others. This sweet story not only highlights the importance of following a dream but also emphasizes the power and pleasure of playing with words. Enchanting watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations show an appealing protagonist who stands out from others of his kind. Deep, twilight hues and soft edges echo the text's contemplative mood. A lovely choice for storytimes and independent reading.
—Andrea TarrCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Cazet offers a gently droll mood piece in a departure from his wackier offerings. Hamlet, the poetic pig, doesn't fit in. In a clean shirt and tennis shoes ("What kind of pig wears a clean shirt?"), he leans over the fence and asks his mother if she'll read to him from his new book. He also offers to read the poem he's just finished to his wallowing family. They tease him about having a twin named Eggs (he doesn't), and perk up only when the farmer brings dinner. Undaunted, Hamlet walks to the nearby pond, where he watches the rising moon and talks to his reflection-which he decides is Eggs. He reads his newest poem, and a band of grinning frogs appears to listen. As the darkness settles in, he reads more and more, his poems as charming as those of Russell Hoban's Frances the Badger. Eggs doesn't respond, which disturbs Hamlet. But a contented smile comes to his face when dozens of creatures request more reading; Hamlet complies. Watercolor and colored pencils add warmth to Cazet's bittersweet ode to the bibliophilic misfit in every reader. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416909354
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 662,610
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Denys Cazet is the author and illustrator of forty-six books for children. Among these are such favorites as Never Spit on Your Shoes, I'm Not Sleepy, and fourteen titles in the Minnie and Moo series for beginning readers.
He lives with his wife and sons in Pope Valley, California.

Denys Cazet is the author and illustrator of forty-six books for children. Among these are such favorites as Never Spit on Your Shoes, I'm Not Sleepy, and fourteen titles in the Minnie and Moo series for beginning readers.
He lives with his wife and sons in Pope Valley, California.

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