Beck Stanton & Matt Stanton, The Book That Never Ends (Books that Drive Kids Crazy #5), ABC Books, March 2019, 32 pp., RRP $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780733337994
This is the fifth in the Books That Drive Kids Crazy series and Beck and Matt Stanton are still achieving their mission admirably. This one is a kind of choose-your-own-adventure that challenges readers to get to the last page, then proceeds to offer choices at each turn (of the page…) that may get you to the end of the book, eventually, but will take a very long time getting there through the back and forth directions that must be followed. Just about any reader hitting the last page too soon will surely go back to change their choices in hope of finding every page on the way. Thus, proving the point of the title.
A gorgeously bright colour palette contrasts with white backgrounds on alternate pages, and bold, white text adorns the coloured pages. The images are Dick Bruna simple, with some sketchy black-line variations. The whole package is just beautiful, a bright hardcover with curved corners completing the effect. Very nice to hold.
Most of all, The Book That Never Ends is a lot of fun for everyone, from the solitary child who likes a long session and a quiet laugh, to the frazzled parent with a kid or two or three to amuse, as most kids will be able to take over the job of navigating this one, leaving mum or dad to lie back and observe the fun (on a good day).
Reviewed by Marita Thomson