Page Shunner: I Will Not Read This Book by Cece Meng
BEFORE I READ THIS BOOK...
I HAVE TO FLOSS MY TEETH...
AND CLEAN UNDER MY BED.
Kids in the middle of the bedtime routine are masters of stalling, and this little PJ-ed boy is right up there in the Stallers Hall of Fame.
But when the fish are fed and his itchy nose is scratched, it's crunch time. For that, there's always the preschooler's famous, feared fall-back position.
YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!
I WILL NOT READ THIS BOOK EVEN IF YOU HANG ME UPSIDE DOWN BY MY TOES....
The boy pictures the whole scene for his patiently waiting mother. She's hanging him upside down by his big toe from a cliff and his sock monkey is tickling his feet, over a sea filled with sharks, in dragon-filled sky in a lightning storm, with a speeding train bearing down on an improbable ocean-spanning track....
No way. After all, as the little lad admits, reading is hard and there might be strange words, and it will take forever...and...and...
But what if the rope breaks and he falls down, down, down toward an imagined doom?
But, then, what if Mom is there to catch him?
THEN I WILL READ THE BOOK WITH YOU.
Cece Meng's newest I Will Not Read This Book (Clarion, 2011), to be published September 6, takes our reading-phobic little hero to the heights of hyperbole before he cracks and agrees to crack that bedtime book with Mom. Artist Joy Ang gives this cliff-hanger the appropriate hilarious hyper-preposterous treatment as well, setting her comic protagonist against a bright white background as he dangles over the dangers he imagines, clutching the offending book despite it all. Even reluctant readers will have to giggle at the super silly perils he summons up, and all kids will be tickled by the cover which shows the boy holding up the book in question, aptly titled I Will Not Read This Book.
Pair this one with Barbara Bottner's Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don't) for an empathetic book fest for the bookophobic.