Tuesday 14 March 2017

Do Not Open This Book

Do Not Open This Book arrived in a blaze of publicity in September 2016. Celebrity first time authors with a cute backstory tend to help that along. Andy Lee is half of the comedy duo Hamish and Andy and wrote this book for his nephew's first birthday present (make sure to watch the video of the surprise in action). Andy wrote the book on a flight. He then asked his friend who just happens to be a children's book publisher to make one copy for his nephew George, but his friend wanted to publish it. This was clearly the right decision as the book crashed the publishers website and sold more than 40,000 copies in just the first two days. 

I'd been meaning to pick up a copy when I saw it, but I never managed to find one in a shop til this week. Do Not Open This Book is perfect picture book simplicity. The funny little blue guy gets angrier and angrier as you keep disobeying him and firstly open the book and then turn each page. 

It is reminiscent of 1971's The Monster at the End of this Book, and there was a small skirmish about this at the time of publication, but I don't think that anything has come of it. Indeed there appears to be at least two other books called Do Not Open This Book- a 1998 book by legend Joy Cowley, and a 2006 one by Michaela Muntean. 

Do Not Open This Book was published by Lake Press, a small independent publisher based in Melbourne that has been shortlisted for Best Children's Publisher Book Publisher 2017 in Oceania at the Bologna Book Fair.


Brona said...

When I first heard about the premise for this book I was very concerned about its similarity to The Monster at the End of this Book too. But I haven't seen a hard copy of it anywhere (we had all sorts of issues trying to order it at the time).

I'm not always a fan of Heath's illustrations either, but these ones look okay.

Did you enjoy it?

Louise said...

Brona I think it really must have sold out early on, and I guess a small publisher would have had trouble keeping up with demand. I hadn't seen it anywhere til this week.

I did enjoy it. I'm glad to have read it. I didn't love it though.

I don't think I've seen Heath's illustrations before- they're pretty good here.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I'll have to look for it here. Hope it comes to America.