Booklist - Books Do Not Have Wings
Booklist (Oct 2016)
In the immortal words of Oscar Hammerstein, “A bell is no bell ’til you ring it,” and in this picture book, Barnes and Coelho make a similar case: a book is just a book until it’s opened. Each page is filled with fantastic illusions and meticulously detailed illustrations that demonstrate the many things that a book is not. A boy and girl are shown plunging into the pages of a book populated with wild gizmos, a fish-shaped submarine, a “cunning old shrew / with a bubbling brew / of lizard stew,” a sleeping dragon, and many other attractive oddities. Sumptuous illustrations in jewel-tone colors will draw viewers along to the end, where the point is clearly stated; the mysterious roundabout message will delight some and confuse others. “A book is a book / when all by itself, / when it’s closed and flat, / alone on the shelf.” When opened, it inevitably becomes much more.