Do Not Open This Book
Human & Rousseau
Review: Lauren O’Connor-May
Australian comedian Andy Lee wrote this strange little book as a gift for his nephew.
He only meant to have one copy printed but the wise printer thought differently. The book became a hit and was one of the fastest selling children’s books in its home country.
But you would never have guessed by looking at it. When I first spotted it on the review pile, my first thought was: “What a weird book”.
The cover is simple, and the story – if one could call it that – is even simpler. Throughout the book, a gangly-limbed, egg-shaped monster tries every trick in the book to stop the reader from turning the page. He threatens, bribes, cajoles, ignores and even resorts to reverse psychology, until nearly the end of the book, when he eventually comes clean and tells the reader what’s so dangerous about the last page.
But by then of course it is too late and no one is dissuaded from finishing the book.
While my adult brain found the book strange, my children loved it and requested several re-readings.
My Grade 1 daughter was so intrigued by it that she read it until she mastered it, which was a mean feat since the book was well above her reading level.
The Southern Mail will be giving away a copy of Do Not Open This Book.
To enter, email your name, surname and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday November 4 at midnight.