Painful as it is to acknowledge, there seems to be a small but vocal anti-reading brigade out there, and boy, are they lacking in compassion! Have they ever considered how it feels to be a neglected book? It’s a lonely life, perched on the bookshelf, desperate to be picked up but knowing you’re destined to sit facing the wall all day, ‘doing a whole lot of nothing’. In The Book No One Wants to Read by Beth Bacon, we join a hopeful little book as it attempts to engage with youthful indifference.
We’re big fans of Beth Bacon’s mission to captivate reluctant readers. In her latest joyful venture, we see the world from the book’s perspective, beginning from the moment we turn the first page and register its delight at seeing us.
‘How about that! You picked me up! Woo hoo!’
Past experience indicates that we’ve only picked up the book because we’ve been told to by the pesky school librarian. Full of yearning, our new friend needs to keep our attention. Cue a medley of jokes and games on a lively and colourful reading journey.
An illusory game of Scratch ‘n’ Sniff is followed by Rock, Paper, Scissors. Next, a staring contest, where an entire double page is composed of the book’s alarmingly saucer-like eyes ( you’ll blink first, the book has no eyelids of course) Optical illusions, puzzles, and some wiggling of body parts, means that by the last page, you’ll be firm friends.
In interviews, Bacon has made an interesting observation about school libraries. Under instruction to choose a book, kids often congregate around the activity book section, allowing them to check out an interactive book rather than practicing their reading. Her goal was to write a game-and-puzzle book with a plot, enticement for the most grudging reader.
Gleefully breaking the fourth wall, she’s done it.
If you like this, see I Hate Reading by Beth Bacon.
The Book No One Wants to Read by Beth Bacon is published by Pushkin Children’s Books, 176 pages.