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Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam…

Warning: Do Not Open This Book!

by Adam Lehrhaupt

Other authors: Matthew Forsythe (Illustrator)

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In this postmodern picture book, the author begins by warning the reader to not open the book or risk letting out the monkeys. As the book progresses the monkeys enter the story and begin to paint themselves a playground of trees. Toucans join them as the author continues to warn the reader to quit turning pages. The story ends with directions to close the book at just the right time to trap the animals.

Personal Response:
I am so glad to have stumbled upon this book! The story is so appealing, and I love the way the author includes the reader in the story. The cover illustrations are not very flashy, and I think this book gets passed over at my libraries because it isn’t as appealing as more colorful covers. The inside illustrations are in the same muted watercolor style, but I think it helps the reader be an active listener instead of simply looking at the illustrations.

Curriculum Connections:
This postmodern picture book would make a great read aloud for young students, and they would enjoy the way the book speaks to them and invites them to be part of the solution. Kids love to “break the rules” or at least be in on the joke as it is happening. I absolutely plan to use this book in my library lessons.
  Kmuscha | Feb 19, 2017 |
My 23-month-old daughter’s eyes were big as saucers when we began to read this book. She is just learning about jokes so, to her, this book might have been a serious threat. When the monkeys appeared, and I laughed at their silliness, she realized that nothing bad was actually going to happen and began to enjoy the text. After we finish the book, and talked about it a little, she asked to hear it again. Now it’s one of her favorites.

The book reads as though the author is speaking directly to the reader. The child is introduced to some interesting vocabulary: “catastrophe”, “extreme measures”, and “toucans”. The book lends itself well to reading with great drama.

The watercolor illustrations are done mostly in shades of brown, black and muted red. The monkeys appear to be actually painting the page. The double-page spreads are filled with activity and imagination.

This is an entertaining book that children between the ages of two and seven will greatly enjoy. ( )
  Bonnie_Ferrante | Jul 10, 2016 |
"Do not open this book!," cautions the narrator of this entertaining little picture-book romp, warning of the dangers - chiefly, monkeys - ahead if this advice is disregarded. The threatened monkeys do indeed appear, as the reader (naturally) continues to turn the pages, making quite a mess. Next come toucans, who add to the cacophony. But when an alligator appears, it becomes a real catastrophe! Fortunately, the narrator has a banana, and a plan that will enable the reader to safely trap all of these creatures...

A fun little book, one which involves the reader in the storytelling process, allowing them to enter into and participate in a game of make-believe through the reading process, Warning: Do Not Open This Book! was Adam Lehrhaupt's debut, revealing a fine sense of humor, and a deft sense of what will appeal to younger children. There isn't really a story here, per se, but the narrative is engaging all the same. The artwork, done by Matthew Forsyte, is likewise appealing, capturing the mischievous mayhem created by the monkeys, and the merry menace represented by the alligator. Recommended to those who enjoy more meta-fictional picture-books. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | May 23, 2016 |
This book is very fun and interactive! It is a modern fantasy book, yet feels very alive and lifelike. I enjoyed this book for a few reasons, but mainly because of the plot, characters, and illustrations.

The plot has an interactive element that is beyond amusing. The narrator warns the reader on each page not to turn to the next page, but when the reader does, something is unleashed that scares and worries the narrator. The narrator constantly interacts with the reader and devises a plan to fix the problem. I liked this element because it engaged me as a reader and kept me at the edge of my seat waiting to see what was on the next page.

The narrator of the story is very fun and another reason why I enjoyed this book so much. He/she has a voice that is very striking. With every turn of the page, there is an urgency and humor in his/her voice that increases curiosity to what will happen next, like when the narrator says, “now you’ve done it,” on a blank page.

The illustrations of the book is a feature that I found lovely. What I enjoyed most was the way that color was used to enhance the plot. For example, when the pages continued to turn and the animals were unleashed, the dark tones created a mood that told the reader something bad was going to happen. Similarly, as the pages continued to turn, the illustrations of the animals got bigger and bigger, creating an even more heightened mood. I liked this especially because even if no text was present within the text, the reader would still be able to make sense of the story.

While this book has no main idea because it is an interactive game, I do enjoy that there is a work like this on the library shelf because it shows young readers that reading is fun! ( )
  GabrielleAmaro | Feb 16, 2016 |
Such a fun book! This is a fantasy book, because you can't really unleash alligators and monkeys and toucans from a book. The author tries to get you to quit turning pages, and it's really entertaining to keep going, and a little rebellious. It's really engaging and would be a great read aloud. Also, the front and back covers and the lining contribute to the story, which I thought was really interesting. ( )
  AmandaLK | Mar 31, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adam Lehrhauptprimary authorall editionscalculated
Forsythe, MatthewIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Monkeys, toucans, and alligators unleash mayhem.

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