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Thursday, December 29, 2016

THIS IS MY BOOK! Written and illustrated by Mark Pett (and no one else). Alfred A Knopf, Random House. 2016. $2016. $ 23.99 ages 4 and up

"(ahem) As I was saying ...

Rule #1: My book needs
to stay nice and clean.
Look around at these
spotless white pages.
Aren't they lovely? Let's
keep them that way."

There have been some new books in 2016 about books and how they are made. Mark Pett starts with an introduction to himself as both author and illustrator of his new book. To prove that he truly is the illustrator, he draws a panda. BIG mistake!

"This is Percy the Perfectly Polite Panda.
He's going to help me explain the rules
of my book."

The panda has other ideas and tells Mark that he prefers to be called Spike. It is their first disagreement. Now, we are ready to hear the rules of bookmaking. Spike is definitely a hindrance. First he colors, adding interest to its 'boring white pages.' Back to the beginning ... a fresh white page and now he's adding 'panda facts' for readers.

It is a very funny lesson in patience, and pushing the envelope. The author's intent for his book quickly goes out the window when Spike adds a flap (A FLAP? I don't want any flaps in my book!) and then a pull tab (I DON'T WANT PULL TABS!) and finally, a pop-up! The other characters added by Spike are delighted ... not so, poor Mark.

The interactive ending is a real winner!

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