This is My Book!

This is a fun interactive story featuring a frustrated author/illustrator and a fun-loving panda named Spike.

Picture book, interactive
Interest Level: Pre-K through grade 3; Reading Level: 1.7
4 out of 5 stars

This picture book can be enjoyed on several different levels. First, and probably the most important, is that it is a fun interactive story featuring a frustrated author/illustrator and a fun-loving panda named Spike.

The author, Mark Pett, is featured as the main character of the book. He breaks through the literary fourth wall and begins the story by addressing the readers directly. He lets us know that he is the author and illustrator who is in control of everything that appears in his book. Which certainly seems true, until he draws a picture of a panda. His panda has a mind of his own, and begins to take over the story.
Quite frankly, Spike has a much better idea of what appeals to young readers than the author! He adds color to the boring white pages, and creates other characters to make the story more interesting. He adds flaps and pull-tabs, and best of all….pop-ups!! As the author has a meltdown, the panda imparts some literary wisdom, “But it’s not just your book. It’s ours, too…And it’s their book, too,” he adds as he points to the readers.

For young readers, this book is just plain fun! The mischievous panda and the interaction with the reader is very appealing. This would make a fun read-aloud experience. For adults, especially teachers and librarians, this book could be used as a mentor text to remind young writers that when they write they need to bring their characters to life. In This is My Book! that happens literally and would make a fun intro to a writing lesson.

Additionally, I love how the story reminds writers that the readers are integral to the story. Basically, once a story is written and published, it becomes the property and story of whoever is reading it. We all bring different viewpoints and experiences that influence how we receive a story. Authors need to be able to let go of their stories and allow readers to experience it how they will.

Overall, the illustrations are fun, the interactive components work well with the story, especially the pop-up page, and this book will make you smile.

This is My Book!
by Mark Pett (and no one else)
Alfred A. Knopf, 2016
ISBN 978-1-101-93790-7