cover image This Book Will Not Be Fun

This Book Will Not Be Fun

Cirocco Dunlap, illus. by Olivier Tallec. Random House, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-55061-4

A pompous mouse with a bow tie and spectacles narrates this stylish addition to the substantial shelf of meta books. “This book will not be fun,” he announces, but readers cannot help but notice a whale sailing into the spread behind him. The mouse turns to the audience: “I don’t know why you’re still here. Even this flying whale is bored, bored, bored.” Double take. “Wait, did you see that flying whale?” Additional interruptions ruffle the mouse’s composure, producing more laughs, until he stumbles on a “giant zero-gravity dance party” filled with nattily attired “impossible creatures” grooving to the beat. The rhythm is infectious, and the mouse can’t resist: “Look at me! I’m ‘shaking my bottom,’ as it were.” He’s lit! On the final pages, the mouse stiffens right up again, but readers have seen another side of him. Everybody knows a self-important prig they wish would just drop the pretension, and newcomer Dunlap’s tale scratches that itch. Her dialogue (well, monologue) shines, and Tallec’s (Who What Where?) artwork, like the mouse himself, is impeccably turned out. Ages 3–7. [em]Author’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Michaela Kozaric, Quelle Belle Histoire. (June) [/em]