CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 40. . . .June 17, 2016
This charming book highlights the wondrous way that words and reading can transform our lives and bring new worlds to life. The narrator is a young boy who has just begun to learn to read. He is surrounded by family and friends who all visibility demonstrate their love of reading – be it novels, cookbooks, or sheet music. The book follows him as he goes through the ways that different people are transported by reading, and the places it can taken them (both real and imaginary!). In addition to people who love the written word, the young boy also learns how people can read the sky for weather, train timetables for travelling, or even ‘reading’ the love shown in a lover’s eyes.
Both the author and illustrator live in Montreal, and the book was translated from French to allow English speaking readers a chance to experience this literacy promoting book. Mom, Dad, Our Books, and Me does an admirable job at showing that the best way to instil the love of reading in young children is simply by reading yourself, and having books and words of all types around. This way, children are exposed to a love of reading from an early age, and they can see the many ways that reading plays a role in our lives.
The artwork uses beautiful collages to depict, often quite literally, what the small boy imagines when he sees other people reading, whether that is a sea creature stretching his wavy tentacles around the side of the bathtub while the narrator reads a sea adventure story, or a grandmother floating in the clouds as she gets lost in a captivating story. The pages tend to have a lot of empty space, no doubt allowing the reader to ‘fill in the blanks’ with what they imagine while reading.
While the age ranges indicates it is suitable for up to 7 years, it is likely, based on its relatively simple story, that it will not be as appealing to children any older than five.
Mom, Dad, Our Books, and Me is, however, a sweet story that new readers will enjoy, and perhaps its contents will lead to conversations where children can come up with different ways that people in their lives read every day.
Mę Linh Lę is a librarian at the University of Manitoba. She spends a lot of time negotiating “How many books?” with her two young sons.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.