Friday, November 9, 2018

Review - Read the Book, Lemmings!

Read the Book, Lemmings!
by Ame Dyckman
illustrated by Zachariah OHora
Date: 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

The team behind the New York Times bestselling Wolfie the Bunny and Horrible Bear! is back with with new Arctic characters in this hilarious learning-to-read adventure!

Aboard the S.S. Cliff, First Mate Foxy reads an interesting fact: "Lemmings don't jump off cliffs." But Foxy can't get the lemmings on the Cliff to read his book, too. They're too busy jumping off.

After a chilly third rescue, exasperated Foxy and grumbly polar bear Captain PB realize their naughty nautical crew isn't being stubborn: The lemmings (Jumper, Me Too, and Ditto) can't read. And until Foxy patiently teaches his lemmings to read the book, he can't return to reading it, either!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

No, the title is not an instruction for some excitable fandom. This is a book about actual lemmings, who continually find themselves plunging into the sea because they are just so darn stupid.

While the premise is cute, there seems to be a bit of a plot hole: the lemmings aren't actually jumping off cliffs. They're jumping from a cargo ship called the S.S. Cliff... but since the lemmings can't read, how do they even know what the ship is called? Hmm...

The pictures are just okay for me; I'm not a big fan of the limited colour palette. I also don't quite believe that the lemmings, as stupid as they are, could learn to read in one afternoon. Let's not give kids unrealistic expectations here.

The title is actually the most amusing part of this for me. Kids might enjoy the repetitive nature of the jumping and rescues, but I found it all just a little bit silly.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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