On a rainy Sunday afternoon Bella is so engrossed in the ending of her book that she does not want to be interrupted by her usual imaginary playmates.
First, Capt. Bluebottom invites Bella to join in “another adventure with the Windy Pirates.” Then Maurice Penguin and his dancing troupe show up for a staged tap-dance routine. Politely, but firmly Bella asks everyone to be quiet because “I AM BUSY READING!” When the tentacled Emperor Flabulon the Wobbulous of the Lardon Empire arrives, Bella’s patience gives way and she emphatically demands, “BE QUIET! For the last time. I AM BUSY READING!” Although her friends don’t understand how a book could possibly be as exciting as their usual play, Bella is then allowed to finish her story, absorbed in its intrigue. Satisfied, she announces, “That was the BEST BOOK EVER!” Digital, colorful drawings of a dark-haired, light-skinned child and a host of invented cartoon personalities illuminate the narrative while key phrases are enhanced with black, bold capital lettering. And when Bella’s finally ready to spend time with her friends in an “INCREDIBLE adventure,” the group turns the page on Bella by stating: “Maybe later, Bella, but right now…WE ARE BUSY READING!” The final scene shows Capt. Bluebottom reading aloud, surrounded by the others, all animatedly absorbed in the story. The pirates display stereotypical disability accessories.
A fanciful celebration of the pleasures of reading. (Picture book. 4-6)