“I Hate to Read”

That caught your attention didn’t it?  It certainly caught mine and as I turned the pages of these books below I can see how they would be excellent in helping struggling students gain appreciation of the written word….  Read on…

“I Hate to Read”

 Story by: Rita Marshall

Illustrations by: Etienne Delessert

Published by:  Creative Editions, Minnesota, USA

Age:  5 years and up

Theme:   Reading difficulty, Stubborn, Dreaming, Adventure

Opening lines:    Most of the time Victor Dickens was a really good kid.  He almost always wore his crash helmet when he practiced wheelies on his skateboard.

Synopsis:  Victor Dickens hates to read and nothing – absolutely nothing, not even his Mum feeding up alphabet soup or his cousin reading him the back of cornflakes boxes. – can change his mind.  Or can it?    How about a parrot with a peg leg…  Or a rabbit with black barn boots…. Or a field mouse with golden coins?  Anything might happen on this whimsical wacky and decidedly wonderful night, when a little boy at his desk discovers that words in a book can take on a life of their own.  The characters were making him miss his favourite TV program, but somehow it didn’t seem to matter anymore.

Rita Marshall living in Connecticut has won many awards from the Society of Illustrators and the New York Art Director’s Club and the 1993 Benjamin Franklin Award.

Why I like it:  Imagine the characters in a book your reading suddenly coming to life, jumping out of the page tapping on your window, or grabbing you by the hand asking you to fly through the night with them.  Isn’t that what we wish for most as a writer to have your reader seeing your characters coming to life?  Transporting your young reader into a world of mystery, adventure and fun. In I Hate to Read young Victor is not a bad student, he does get A’s in math and B’s in science but he just hates reading, he is a victim of the I Hate to Read syndrome. While this story reminds me very much of the “Wild Things”  Rita has written a beautiful story sprinkled liberally with clever wordplay and touches of humour.  Etienne’s soft clear playful illustrations work well in this oversized hardbook. I smiled when I first read the dedication “to our publisher, Tom Peterson, who hates to read.”

Resources:  http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=GMNy42YqykAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false    One can read the first few pages on this website.

“I Still Hate to Read”

 By the same author and illustrator:  Rita Marshall and  Etienne Delessert

Published by:  Creative Editions Company  USA

Ages: 5 and up

Theme:  Secretive, Stubborn, Imagination, Adventure

Synopsis:  This is the continuing story of Victor and his faithful dog Page and his secret passion for reading that no-one knows not even his tattle-tale little sister.  Once again his imagination runs riot as his friends pop out of the book he reads, including rats on cell phones and crows in top hats, are sure to inspire even the most struggling student that there must be something to this reading business after all.  Page turning illustrations and playful text by award winning wife and husband collaboration make this a must book in every school library as well as at home.

Why I like this:   Beautiful simple soft illustrations accompany a delightful text make it a pleasure to read.  This is the second in the series that Rita as Art Design director for Creative Editions has done with her husband illustrator Etienne.

Resources/Findings ….   http://www.societyillustrators.org/Awards-and-Competitions/Richard-Gangel/Past-Honorees/2007—Rita-Marshall.aspx    Bio of the author and illustration by husband Etienne.

http://www.powells.com/biblio/7-9781568461748-1   click and scroll to see more pages within the book.

http://readingeggs.co.nz/    incorporating games and fun would certainly help build interest in reading for children.

http://www.readdogsmn.org/    excellent reading program involving reading to animals.


About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
This entry was posted in Picture book, Picture Book Review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to “I Hate to Read”

  1. Definitely adding these to my list – love Delessert’s talent, and there was a time I didn’t want to read much either. Thanks Dianne!

  2. Darlene says:

    I have heard of these books before. I love the concept. Thanks.

  3. Joanna says:

    such a clever idea!

  4. Maybe kids actually want to read something, but they hate being FORCED to read something. I think books like this are good for reluctant readers. Thanks for telling me about the books!

  5. Jackie says:

    These look like really fun books and I like how they address the kids who simply hate to read. I’ve shared your post on my book page. Thanks for posting about them.

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