Can You Read This Book?: A Book of Nonsense to Twist Your Tongue To

­British Library. Oct. 2022. 64p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780712354653.
Gr 3-8–Lewis-Jones steps out of his comfort zone with this whimsical offering for young readers. Traditionally publishing historical or photographic books for adults, in addition to a passion for polar research, he has another passion: for wordplay and tongue twisters. Starting with simple phrases, the tongue twisters get harder as the book progresses, culminating with a giant mash-up of the phrases. The phrase “Red Lorry Yellow Lorry” is repeated throughout. The palette of the book is strong, but the lighter colors (i.e., light blue and yellow) make certain parts of the white text more difficult to see in the digital version. The illustrations are bold, eye-catching, and well crafted. The uniqueness and strangeness of the book is truly its strength. Vocabulary and wordplay enthusiasts will love the progression of the book, but it is unlikely to capture the attention of a general reader. Certain vocabulary words, such as “lorry” may be unfamiliar to readers, depending on their location in the world. It seems that readers may fall one of two directions: captivated by the conversational, easy-to-read tone or disinterested in the repetitiveness.
VERDICT A good addition to wordplay collections, but not necessarily in the children’s section.

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