cover image I Hate to Read!

I Hate to Read!

Rita Marshall, Etienne Delessert. Creative Company, $19.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56846-005-5

Although ``most of the time Victor Dickens was a really good kid,'' he manifests all the symptoms of the ``I Hate to Read Syndrome.'' One day, while Victor is pretending to read so that he can move on to his favorite activity--watching TV--an alligator pops out of the pages of the book and bids Victor to jump into his pockets, where other children await story hour. Victor resists the invitation, as well as those issued by a succession of outlandish animals who try to entice him to read. A bizarre dream turns the stubborn boy around, however, and when he awakens he decides that he feels ``a little sad'' for the animals, for ``What would happen to them if their stories were lost?'' So Victor opens his book to look for his friends, and, predictably, becomes engrossed. Marshall's text may be didactic but it is liberally sprinkled with clever wordplay, and her book design offers such diversions as folios facing every conceivable direction. Yet most impressive is Delessert's inventive art, which wreaks playful havoc with perspective and scale, and features striking, earth-tone pastels punctuated with splashes of vibrant color. Ages 6-up. (June)