The Book that Did Not Want to be Read

The Book that Did Not Want to be Read
David Sundin (translated by B.J. Woodstein, graphic design Alexis Holmqvist
Puffin Books

What do you do about a book that says on the cover ‘Put it down. Do not open’? Maybe toss it aside to the rejects pile and not bother writing a review or defy those six words, plunge in and face the outcome.

David Sundin is a Swedish comedian, screenwriter, actor and television show host and this somewhat bizarre book is his story for a child unable to fall asleep who requests an adult read a story – this one.

By the second spread though, the book has turned into a steering wheel (centrally placed by Holmqvist) and we’re careering right and left, sounding the horn loudly before reaching a destination.

But then in order to put off the adult attempting to read it, lots of new words suddenly start appearing, not normal words but gibberish. If the reader survives and thinks it’ll be plain sailing thereafter, they’re wrong.

Many more challenges follow – wings appear, the text keeps changing size, the sound of music means a song must be sung, fire breaks out, letters become other letters …

and more. Lovely ending though. But PHEW! I’m exhausted after attempting to read it.

Adult readers aloud who enjoy giving a theatrical performance when sharing a book can have terrific fun with this, so too of course will young audiences.

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