The Wrong Book

Penguin/Philomel. Feb. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593621967.
PreS-Gr 2–The wordplay and high jinks begin on the cover, with the author’s name printed as Nightwalt and edited to Daywalt in a scrawl; the illustrator’s name is also corrected, as are several other details. What’s really wrong with The Wrong Book? The answer is that perhaps the creators have gotten everything right about being wrong in a book that becomes incrementally sillier.The apple sounds crunchy as it’s being eaten but the flower makes a sound that is closer to the choo-choo of the train. The bicycle says, “Burp!” and the firefighter, a smiling woman with brown skin and black hair, is labeled an elephant and says, “Ding-Dong!” The small yellow bookmarks that puzzle their way through these pages are no closer to understanding the book when it closes than when it opened, forcing the lesson on children following along this madness that, perhaps, things just don’t make sense. It’s absurd, sometimes funny, and confusing when the one bookmark that seems to know what’s what has no better luck at corralling the nonsense.
VERDICT For hardened and impervious Daywalt fans, this will go down smooth, but it’s not a must purchase.

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