Nov 092012

This is only my second time here, but feels so good to be doing Perfect Picture Book Fridays after weeks! Head over to Susanna Hill‘s blog for this super-fun friday iniitiative that brings the best of picture books together at one place! For an exhaustive list of all picture books reviewed, click here.


Title: Do Not Open This Book!

Author: Michaela Muntean

Illustrator: Pascal Lemaitre


Publisher: Scholastic PressNew York

Genre: Picture Book

Age group: 4 years and up

Click here to have a look at the inside pages on Amazon.




Theme: Involve the reader in the process of writing and creating the story for the very book that she is holding in her hands!


Opening Sentence:  Excuse me, but who do you think you are, opening this book when the cover clearly says DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK!? If a sign on a door reads DO NOT ENTER, do you enter?


Synopsis: From Amazon:  In the spirit of the bestselling classics DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! and THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK comes a riotously funny, interactive picture book from a hot new team.

“Excuse me, but who do you think you are, opening this book when the cover clearly says, DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK? The reason you weren’t supposed to open this book is because it is not yet written!…You think it’s easy to put words together? Hah! Now go away–I need time to think.”
So begins Pig’s valiant attempt to pen his masterpiece. But he is constantly interrupted by the reader who is seduced at every turn into foiling his efforts (“please go away” “please do not turn the page”)–until at last we reach the final page & discover that together, Pig & the reader have indeed created a book.


Why I like this book: This is the funniest book I have come across about creating something brilliant out of nothing at all! The book is a tribute to the mind’s bustling creative potential and its readiness to be open to ideas flowing in from just about ANYWHERE.

The book is very interactive, as in, it makes the reader so much a part of the reading (and eventually, as it turns out, the book creating) process that it keeps her engaged without blinking! Here’s the pig who’s trying every bit to ensure that the reader doesn’t turn the page, and there’s the pesty reader disregarding all of it to march on steady ploughing through the pages! And each time the reader does that, something terrible happens to the pig and the words and his story. Until, the pig comes up with a clever plan…!

The illustrations are rib-tickling, to say the least. The text and the illustrations complement each other so well without stepping into each other’s zone and yet blending so perfectly and effortlessly that it’s difficult to believe that it’s not the same person doing both! I love the elaborate construction site that Pascal Lemaitre has created out of a writing desk with prominent ‘CAUTION-Thinking in Progress’ and ‘BEWARE! Writing in Progress’ standees littering the place!

And just when you thought you’d had enough of a laugh while reading the book, plop comes the back cover of the book that reads, “Excuse me, but did you read the front cover of this book? Are you always this rude? I said DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK!  – Don’t even think about opening it this way, either 🙂

The humour does feel a little stretched towards the end, but that still doesn’t rob the story of its fun.



This book can be a good starting point for initiating a discussion on how words and ideas come together to create a story. Or how those same words can get blown away from our minds if not put to paper immediately.

Another fun exercise could be you and your child playing Pig and the Reader. So the Pig can start with some thought while the Reader keeps interrupting. Would be fun to see where the initial thought ends!

Here’s another activity I found on the Scholastic website:  Lesson Plans.

Happy goofing around 🙂


 November 9, 2012  Posted by at 10:13 am Uncategorized

  17 Responses to “Do Not Open This Book!”

  1. This book sounds riotously hilarious and one I want to get and read myself, even though it says not to. Maybe exactly because it says not to. ha ha. Thanks so much for sharing this selection. 🙂

  2. This looks like a fun one. Thanks for sharing it. I’m adding it to my library list.

  3. The cover had me hooked. Am going straight to Amazon and ordering it for my granddaughter. This sounds like a gem and very funny. Like that it is interactive and shows how words and ideas come together to create a book.

  4. Richa, this sounds like a must read! Immediately the title, “Do Not Open…” made we want to read it. I really like books like this. I put it on my library list and I will be reading – only I’m going to start at the back so I won’t be opening the book, I’ll be cloooooosing it-maybe pig won’t yell at me. 🙂

  5. Looks fantastic! I love the ingenuity of the concept. I’ll have to check this out for my kids. Thanks!

  6. Sounds excellent. What a great concept for a book…and funny to boot. That is a bonus. I am adding it to my Books I Want To Read list!

  7. What a clever book! I’m sure it has meaning for those of us who are picture book writers as well. Thanks for reviewing it, Richa!

  8. Great looking pick – putting it on hold now!

  9. this sounds hilarious! I will definitely look for this one. I love the concept.

  10. I laughed at just the cover! I can’t wait to read it.

  11. I know that my students will love this book. Adding it to my library hold list (which seems to grow by leaps and bounds every Friday!)

  12. I have to read this now. What fun!

  13. Sounds like a riot! Will definitely have to check it out for the kids. Thanks.

  14. This book looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing it with us, Richa!

  15. I LOVE this book…thank you for a wonderful review! And the activity/resource suggestions are great. 🙂 I’m going to follow your blog…and appreciate the wonderful content you include. So nice to meet you via Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

  16. Have just ordered this thanks to your review!

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