This week the Picture Book Spotlight shines on Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt and Matthew Forsythe.
When I was cruising through the picture books at the Eric Carle Museum bookstore, I noticed this one because of the watercolor monkey. I'm a big fan of Wang Yani's monkeys (below) and the charming monkey on the cover reminded me of her work.
Then I saw the title.
Now, before I go further, you should know, I can be cynical biddy. I saw the title and I thought, Oh no, it's gonna be a reworking of The Monster at the End of this Book. I was going to put it down, but that cute little monkey face made me open it up and find out if the book was exactly what I expected or less or more.
I'm happy to say, it was more! Way, WAY more! I'm talking surprises! Action! Silliness - galore!
But let me back up. The book starts with a warning. Do not open this book. There are monkeys inside. The quirky, fun illustrations show standard roadside warning signs, but with monkeys on them instead of a deer crossing or other hazard.
Of course, you open the book, you turn the page, you go further. And it's fun because the child reader is doing something he or she is being told not to, but at the same time, because it's a book, they know it's OK to be naughty in this situation. And being naughty is fun!
You turn a page further and OH NO - YOU'VE DONE IT! YOU'VE FREED THE MONKEYS!
And the monkeys are making a big mess, just like we knew they would!
I won't go on because, for me, the fun was seeing how far they could take the monkeys and add to it and twist the surprises around. And it is fun. It's really, really fun.
Not to mention, OH MY GOODNESS, I love the art! (One more illo to savor)
I LOVE those monkeys!
Here's the book trailer with Carmina Burana in the background. (So funny!)
If you have a little monkey at home who loves stirring up trouble - or you just have a monkey thing in general, pick up a copy of WARNING: DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK! I think the real warning is make sure you don't miss it!
THANK YOU so much for stopping in. Happy St. Paddy's Day to all you Irish out there! I'm wearing my green today. Are you?