I Do Not Like Stories

Owlkids. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771473781.
K-Gr 2–Everyone likes different kinds of stories; some do not like stories at all. One morning upon waking, a young white boy is greeted by his cat and proceeds to begrudgingly prepare himself for the day and set off for school. As the day progresses, the boy lists the kinds of stories he does not like as moments in the day remind him of them. Unbeknownst to him, while he is at school, his cat is having adventures of its own! Ultimately, the boy and his cat reconvene at the boy’s house and round out the day together. Reluctant readers will appreciate the design of this book and the repetitions in the text, because this book is built differently. Three stories occur in tandem: one told in words and the other two told through pictures. While the words lament stories in nearly every form, the images recount interesting days experienced by both the boy and his cat, juxtaposing the melancholy text. Through this, the inventive design of the pages inspires readers to develop their own stories to describe the illustrations, instead of relying solely on the written text. A limited color palette and minimalist visuals make this book less overwhelming and more accessible to newer readers than books generally created for this age group.
VERDICT An outstanding, atypical addition to library collections for the young, this invites close inspection of the elements, critical thinking about the differences between text and art, as well as the contradiction between what the boy does and what he says.

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