Numerous wonderful picturebooks focus on the magical experiences related to books and reading; while these are always welcome, they can be alienating for those children who find reading difficult or simply do not enjoying it. The Covers of My Book are Too Far Apart rebalances this by tackling the reasons why children might not read head on.
With its humorous comic-style artwork as well as other comic conventions such as speech bubbles and frames, this is a highly accessible text which will be perfect for many of those who will recognise themselves within its pages. It confronts many stereotypes about reading: that clever people only read big books for example, or that enjoying reading and being a reader are not only about chapter books, or even that reading is only about school. Wonderfully inclusive, it does not try to be didactic but rather tries to normalise the idea that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to being a reader.
The Covers of My Book are Too Far Apart offers a great platform to discuss what it is to be a reader and help define reading for pleasure. Interestingly, it also gives some food for thought about the lack of diversity in most children’s publishing, which would also offer a great starting point for discussions on the importance of diverse characters, and looking at why books are both mirrors and windows for their readers. It would also be a great starting point for activities such as thinking about the book they would like to read. It could be used together with Baxter’s Book which is also on the longlist.
The Covers of My Book are Too Far Apart (And Other Grumbles)
by Vivian French, illustrated by Nigel Baines
Barrington Stoke (Picture Squirrels) ISBN: 978-1781126028