Jean Jullien, This Is Not A Book, Phaidon/Penguin Australia, 15 February 2016, 32pp., $14.95 (board book) ISBN 9780714871127
My kids don’t care whether this is a book or not – it’s fun. The title is intriguing, the cover looks like a home’s front door and whenever I sit down to read it, all three of my kids crowd around.
Each double-page spread is an invitation to play – and they all want a turn. They want to hold up the huge monster mouth and roar, name all the food in the fridge and play a tune on the piano keys. I love the page that opens up like a laptop computer – one page is the screen and the other is the keyboard. My little man is learning his ABCs, so we encourage him to find the letters in his name and “type” it. It’s difficult for him (or his big sisters) to resist (yay!).
Each picture is bright, bold and clever, requiring the book to be held in a new, different way to appreciate the scene. You can hold it open on your lap, turn it upside down, flap the pages and trap fingers in fun.
Apart from the cover title, there’s no words until the next to last page. And none are needed. Little readers will do all the talking, prompted by the fun on the pages. Sometimes we don’t even get to the end because the illustrations have inspired the kids to play a new game.
This is aimed at 2-4 year olds, although older brothers and sisters will like it too.
Reviewed by Carissa Mason