Do NOT Open This Book, by Andy Lee & Heath McKenzie

Oh! You opened the book.
I assume that was an accident?
No problem, accidents happen.
I’m not even angry.
Just PLEASE don’t turn the page.

A zany long-legged egg-shaped blue monster is the star of this book, pleading with the reader first not to open the book then, with increasing desperation, not to turn the pages. he tries threats, pleas and even ignoring the reader, until, on the second last spread, he reveals that a witch has threatened to turn him into a frog if any one reads all the way to the book.

Young readers and listeners are invited into the story. to participate either by turning the page or by telling the adult reader whether to or not to do so. I read this book to my three year old grandson who, after one page, was urging me to ‘turn the page’, and demanded repeated rereadings of the book.

Illustrations, by Heath McKenzie, focus on the narrator, with big eyes, long limbs an an expressive mouth. Text features including bold, caps and shaped text to emphasise emotion, as well as a mix of white space and backgrounds including red when he is particularly angry, as dark grey when he is desperate help to build tension as well as humour.

Great for toddlers and early readers.

Do Not Open This Book, by Andy Lee, illustrated by Heath McKenzie
Lake press, 2016
ISBN 9781760451486