Felicity McLean (text), Georgie Wilson (illus.), This is a Book! (no wifi needed). Piccolo Nero, 1 Nov 2017, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk) ISBN 9781760640132
The unnamed girl in this picture book shares with the reader everything the book she is holding does not have, compared to an iPad. It is boring, and books are only for babies and old people. She then goes into her tepee with her iPad, only to emerge a short time later with a different view that maybe books aren’t that bad, especially after solving a few problems like not having a home button.
This is an entertaining book, with the front cover the shape and look of an iPad. The collaged illustrations are fun and clear, adding to the verbal text. The titles of the books and text within the story, and the antics of other, unnamed characters, are fun. Some statements regarding the advantages of a book over a device are explicit while others are more inferential, such as “a kid could get lost for days in one of these things”.
The change of the young girl’s attitude towards books is obvious, however I question her motivation for coming out of her tepee to try a book. This is not clear and I feel young readers will see through this rather quickly.
All in all, this is a fun book for younger readers that will do well in public libraries and home collections. It would make a welcome addition to a story time session about books and reading, and with some added commentary could be a real hit with the audience.
Reviewed by Liz Derouet