cover image Read It, Don't Eat It!

Read It, Don't Eat It!

Ian Schoenherr, . . Greenwillow, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-172455-8

What's almost as important as reading? Schoenherr (Cat & Mouse ) tells readers that it's respecting and caring for the books themselves. An anthropomorphized animal cast, meticulously rendered in ink and acrylic—and reminiscent of vintage Golden Book characters (the girls even wear pinafores)—serve as role models of thoughtlessness. Big, friendly type, a soupçon of slapstick and a pinch of wordplay help take the sting off the scolding (which centers on library books but also applies to privately owned books). White backdrops and minimal propping encourage readers to focus all their attention on the characters' breaches of etiquette. “No dog-ears, please,” admonishes the left hand side of one spread, while on the right side a puppy is caught folding down the edge of a page. “Don't censor, delete, or deface,” is the warning given to a shifty-looking fox who is striking out some lines of text with a thick black marker. Simple, direct and knowingly funny, this book is worthy of a permanent spot on the desks of youth librarians everywhere. Ages 2–4. (May)