________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 3. . . .September 18, 2009


Have I Got a Book for You!

Mélanie Watt.
Toronto, ON: Kid Can Press, 2009.
32 pp., hardcover, $17.95.
ISBN 978-1-55453-289-6.

Subject Headings:
Books-Juvenile fictions.
Selling-Juvenile fictions.

Kindergarten-grade 4 / Ages 5-9.

Review by Reesa Cohen.

***˝ /4


“Have I got a book for you!” claims super salesman Al Foxword. He is one persuasive dude. This extraordinary promoter of all commercial products makes sure that we hear from satisfied customers with absurd testimonials about other products he has sold, like an icebox to a penguin and an umbrella to a fish. Now it seems that this remarkable Al is peddling books, and not just ordinary boring story books, or school books. The big push is to buy not one, but two of his great books, even though the reader has no clue as to their content. And, if the reader hurries, a book mark will be included. What a deal!

internal art      But Al, what are we going to do with not 1, but 2 of your awesome books?

Now that’s an excellent question, says Al.

Just use your copy as .....a handy gift for a loved one, hassle free door stopper, unique hat, decorative coaster

     The list continues of how these books can be utilized in many unique and clever ways. As Foxword insists, “the possibilities are endless.” Noticeably missing from the list ....reading!

The amusing, lively artwork is rendered in charcoal pencil and assembled digitally. The cartoonish drawings become an integral part of the story, itself, as is the entire design of the book. Even the dedication page becomes part of the fun.

     Mélanie Watt, writer of several humorous and creative picture books for young readers, pens another winner, this time with a cleverly conceived spoof of the sales pitch. Her exaggerated parody is inspired by paid info-mercials, and the result is hilarious! However, some of the humour and asides might be well above the publisher’s suggested lower reading age/grade level of age five. But Have I Got a Book for You! will certainly find an audience with grades 3 and up and could make a truly effective learning experience if a teacher draws comparisons to the sale pitches used today and takes the time to entertain discussions of point of view, media messages, advertising strategies and persuasive writing.

Highly Recommended.

Reesa Cohen is a retired Instructor of Children’s Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.

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

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