I Do Not Like Books Anymore!
Walker Books, 2018
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Monster siblings Natalie and Alphonse love books and stories – picture books read to them by their dad, scary stories read by their mum, Granny’s stories , stories remembered and those made up. It didn’t matter – they loved their books and the tales within them. Natalie is so excited that she is going to learn to read…
“When I can read, I’ll have all the stories in the world whenever I want them.”
“And you can read them to me!” said Alphonse.
But then Natalie got her first school reading book…
In this so-true story Daisy Hirst has captured the experiences of so many little people who can’t wait to go to school because that’s where “real reading” is learned and then have their expectations shattered because they get a book about a cat that like to sit on a mat. *But it isn’t a story… Nothing even happens to the cat.” And with no real story and the letters and words looking like “Scuttling insects with too many legs and eyes” how many other children are like Natalie and declare they “don’t like books anymore”, their reading journey over before it starts! Even all the encouragement that Natalie gets from her family doesn’t overcome the disappointment of a meaningless text.
I could write a uni assignment based on this book alone but won’t. Suffice to say that it must be made mandatory reading and discussion material for all those who determine the books and the programs we offer our very earliest readers to start their own reading story and the impact that those decisions can have. The profound message in its seeming simplicity is enormous!