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Review – The World that Loved Books

Posted by shelburns on 30th December 2008

Thank you to the author, Stephen Parlato, who sent me an autographed copy of this book, and thank you to The Picnic Basket for the chance to review this.

Title:  The World that Loved Books

Author:  Stephen Parlato

Illustrator:  Stephen Parlato

Review Copy Provided by:  author via The Picnic Basket blog

Summary of book (from back of book):  There once was a world where everyone loved books, even the animals.  Everyone loved to read so much that when they read their books, they became what they read.  When they closed their books they became themselves again…only smarter.

My Review:  This is an absolutely beautiful book!  I could sit for hours just looking at the pictures as each big picture is a collage of smaller pictures that take time to pick out and enjoy.  Imagine a horse made up of fish, or a cat made up of mice, rats, and hamsters.  It is truly unbelievable!  When I got this book, I was impressed with the cover art, much more so than the picture online did it justice.   I can’t wait to give this book to my students and see how they react!  Not only are the pictures amazing, but it has a great message.  There is not a “plot” to this story, just instances of how people and animals change with each book that they read.  I am always telling my students that with books you can go anywhere, become anything or anyone, and learn whatever you want to know.  This book solidifies the premise that we become what we read.  From each book we read, we take a piece of it with us and carry it around forever.  What a great message for kids and adults alike.  I will definitely be using this one with my reluctant readers because it is an easy read with a good message.  Some children may have a hard time reading it by themselves as the text is not always linear.  I like how the author manipulates the text into curves to accent the illustrations.  I know that there are a few of my boys that will fall in love with this book strictly because of the illustrations, and if that’s how I hook them, then I’ve got them!  I will recommend this to teachers and my librarian for the same reasons:  beautiful illustrations, easy read, great message.

I don’t usually give ratings to my book reviews, but since I am reviewing this book for The Picnic Basket, I was asked to rate the book on a scale of 1-5.  Here is how the scale works out:  5-Strongly Recommend, 4-Recommend without Reservation, 3-Neutral, 2-Recommend under Certain Reading Situations, & 1-Unlikely to Recommend.  When I review books for The Picnic Basket, I will be using these ratings and giving you my reasoning behind the rating.  So, without further adieu, I rate The World that Loved Books a 4 – Recommend without Reservation (This book should be in every picnic basket, it is as good as the perfect potato salad and would be welcome at a coastal or park picnic.  You would rummage through the picnic basket to read it.) based on the illustrations.  I think that children will ask to read it often because of it is short and so that they can see the pictures.

Stephen Parlato has another book, Dragons Love, that I can’t wait to get my hands on!

Other info about the book:

2003, Simply Read Books
36 pp, full color, 8 3/4″ X 12″, cloth with die-cut cover
Ages 6-11
US $16.95, CDN $22.95, UK £9.95, AU $24.95

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