You Can Read – written by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Mark Hoffmann

    You Can Read – written by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Mark Hoffmann, Orca Book Publishers, (9781459813243), 2017.

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Rating: 1-5:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

What did you like about the book? In rhyming text, a boy (white skin) and a girl (brown skin) encourage reading by showing a broad variety of places where books can be read. Among others, the pair is shown reading at the park, in a classroom, while camping, in the desert, even underwater and in outer space! If read aloud, expect howls of delight at the aspect of reading on the toilet or stepping in something that rhymes with the boy’s exclamation of “Eww!” The titles of the books refer to the places where the kids are reading. For instance, the girl reading in party clothes is reading a book called Dress Up! while the boy reading in his underpants is reading a book called Dress Down. The back cover sums up the theme by showing the pair of children reading with piles of books around them and this message, “Books are awesome and so are the people who read them.”

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Given the variety of places to read that are displayed, it is strange that neither child is ever shown curled up reading in a comfy chair.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend as a read aloud to youngsters in preschool to first grade to encourage them to make reading a habit wherever they go.

Who should buy this book? Preschools, elementary libraries, public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with picture books.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  4/21/17

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