________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 30. . . .April 14, 2017


You Can Read.

Helaine Becker. Illustrated by Mark Hoffman.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2017.
32 pp., hc., pdf & epub, $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1324-3 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1325-0 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1326-7 (epub).

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Linda Ludke.

**** /4



You can read in the classroom
You can read in the park
You can read on a mission
Undercover in the dark


This quirky, irrepressible picture book lists all the places where you can enjoy a book (or two, or three). Some reading locations are close to home and familiar, like beneath a cozy bedroom blanket fort, or in the privacy of a bathroom, or while walking down the street. Other spots are more exotic, like perched on top of a camel in the desert, or scuba diving under the sea, or while keeping the beat in a symphony.

     Told in rhyming verse, Becker’s bold, declarative statements seem to be lively, shouting the merits of reading from the rooftops. Reading comes in handy in the kitchen “when you make a fricassee”, and, if you are ever in a rocket ship that conks out in space, “you will know just what to do!” Finding your way “in Tuktoyaktuk/ or in the south of France” is easy if you read a map. The hand-lettered text, all in capitals, adds to the empowered, D.I.Y. aesthetic.

     Mark Hoffman’s stylized, digital cartoons follow the literary adventures of two young children. It is always fun to snoop at the books that other people are reading, and small details in the illustrations give this voyeuristic thrill. On the playground jungle gym, a pigtailed girl dangles upside down, in perfect view of her “Now Get Muddy” book that is propped open on the ground. A little boy stealthily peeks out from a laundry hamper, clutching his “Secret Plans” guidebook, and leaving a trail of dirty socks and underwear.

     You Can Read is a perfect storytime choice for sharing at school, library, home … “EVERYWHERE!”

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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