________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 3 . . . . September 18, 2015


The Good Little Book.

Kyo Maclear. Illustrated by Marion Arbona.
Toronto, ON: Tundra Books, 2015.
40 pp., hardcover & ebook, $18.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978 1-77049-451-0 (hc.), ISBN 978 1-77049-452-7 (ebook).

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Linda Ludke.

**** /4



Once there was a good little book. It had fine printed pages and a simple cover and a strong spine. It sat on a shelf in a study lined with other books. There were thick books and thin books. Books for racing through quickly and books for savouring slowly. Some books were popular. Others were less popular. The good little book was neither thick nor thin, popular nor unpopular. It had no shiny medals to boast of. It didn't even own a proper jacket.

Kyo Maclear's latest picture book is a perfect ode to the joys of reading. When a boy is given a punitive time out and sent to "think things over" in a study, he pulls an ordinary book off the shelf and starts to read to pass the time. The child becomes so engrossed in the "good little book", he loses track of time. This tome becomes a loyal companion and takes him many places, both figuratively and metaphorically. Tragedy strikes when he loses his precious book. Worrying about the fate that might befall his hardcover friend ("it wasn't even wearing a proper jacket"), he puts up posters and checks out the library, all to no avail. When he spies a little girl walking down the street, engrossed in his book, he decides against reclaiming it for himself. The boy is happy his book has a new home, and he sagely remarks, "a good little book never completely goes away."

      Beautifully designed, The Good Little Book has the red, faux fabric appearance of a bound cover, lovingly worn by many hands. The story also delightfully spills over onto the endpapers, where doodles, tic tac toe games and a ballpoint ink scribble of "Is this the end of the book?" appear. Arbona's quirky gouache and pencil illustrations capture the many lives of the book, including being a snack for a raccoon and a perch for a cat.

      Avid readers will nod their heads in recognition at many of the sentiments eloquently expressed in the text, such as the "silence of reading slowly fill[ing] the room", and the boy's belief that "the good little book was written especially for him." After reading, and undoubtedly rereading, this picture book, make sure you pass it on!

Highly Recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian, in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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