DON'T READ THIS BOOK!
Age Range: 4 - 7
The King hijacks a book...the very book in the reader's hands. The paint is barely dry on the words "Once upon a time" when the King charges into the middle of the page, swirling his bright-orange cape and ordering the story to stop. Calling for his story writer, he sets about finding a new tale, which the writer posits is at Beanstalk Crossing. Even as the reader follows this journey, pages are also filled with tentative plotlines and sketches of illustrations and even the King ordering the reader to "GO AWAY!" The writer's notes indicate a wolf and a beanstalk and a little girl in red. But the story really comes together when the writer finds the pages about the pea. (The next two-page spread shows the pea flying through the air like a comet to meet the King.) In the nick of time, the tale is assembled, with proper storybook type and inset pictures. Lewis's playful premise has promise and some delicious moments but, in hitting the same comic notes over and over, fails to take flight. (Picture book. 4-7)