The Good Little Book

illus. by Marion Arbona. 40p. Tundra. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781770494510.
K-Gr 2—A fable about a boy and his book, The Good Little Book, which sports a red cover and a quiet smile. The anthropomorphized book sits with clasped hands while both popular and dull books gallivant about it. When a boy is sent to the book-filled room as a punishment for being naughty, he pulls out the trusty tome and starts to read. The connection is immediate and deep, and the boy carries the volume with him everywhere, reading it again and again, until he misplaces it. He eventually learns to love other books, and when he sees The Good Little Book being read by someone else, he is able to let it go. The quirky illustrations create a world rich in fantasy, with gorgeous graphite, colored pencil, and paint in jewel tones and funky perspectives. As in many fables, the ending can feel predictable, but the text and images together create an engaging book lovers' celebration of the connection between readers and their stories and the pleasure that comes from sharing good literature. The sly publishing references—e.g., the "Pull Lizard" and "No Bell" prize stickers—will tickle adult readers, and the cover of the book matches the paintings of the boy's book as well. A wonderful selection for a storytime for older children.
VERDICT A vibrantly illustrated, solid choice for collections looking for books about reading.

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