Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How This Book Was Made

How This Book Was Made. Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Adam Rex. 2016. 44 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: At first this book wasn't a book. It was an idea. Ideas can come at funny times. When I had the idea for this book, I went to a quiet place and I wrote. I wrote from early in the morning until late at night. It was very hard work. Soon I had a bunch of words on paper. Those words were a first draft. The first draft of this book was not so good. Neither was the second draft. Or the third. Or the twelfth.

Premise/plot: Love to write? Love to draw? Want to write your own books someday? This how-to picture book might just inspire the next generation to craft stories of their own. If it is nonfiction, it's OVER-THE-TOP meant to be hilarious to the audience nonfiction. (For example, he squeezes in some nonsense among his good advice. "But writing lots of drafts is a useful part of the writing process. For instance, when the tiger came back for revenge because I beat him in arm wrestling, I burned these drafts and scared him away.")

My thoughts: Barnett argues in this "message" book that a book is NOT a book until it has a reader. Once a book has a reader, then the book is MADE. I'm not sure I agree 100% with that. I would argue that there is a reader for most every book, and that every book has the potential to be some one's BEST BOOK EVER. I like this book, not sure that I love, love, love it.
Because a book can have words and pictures and paper and tigers, but a book still isn't a book, not really, until it has a reader. And then you came along, and you read this book through to the very last page, which was how this book was made.
Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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