Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Review - Don't Blink!

Don't Blink!
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by David Roberts
Date: 2018
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

This interactive book may seem to be on your side, reluctant sleeper -- but it's truly a bedtime book in disguise! New from New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Amy Krouse Rosenthal and David Roberts!

Here's how it works: if you can avoid getting to the end of this book, you can avoid bedtime, simple as that. (It's a pretty sweet deal, actually.) But each time you blink, you have to turn a page. Those are just the rules. So whatever you do, DON'T BLINK!

From New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Amy Krouse Rosenthal and David Roberts comes a playful, super-duper interactive bedtime story, narrated by a cheeky stuffed owl. Kids love a challenge, and you can bet they'll do their darndest to rise to the one set out in Don't Blink!...especially when bedtime is on the line!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

So-called interactive picture books can be hit-or-miss for me. I've enjoyed some (like Don't Push the Button!), but there have been some others that just fell really flat. This one is kind of in the middle. It's not awful, but there's probably a group of people who shouldn't read the book at all: those with tics.

I've had tics since I was a child. They're very difficult to control. Sometimes, the power of suggestion is enough to set them off (which is one reason I don't like reading about people with conditions like Tourette's Syndrome). This book could be extremely frustrating for children who have a hard enough time controlling what their own body is doing. First they're encouraged to not blink, but at one point they're told to blink rapidly to get it all out (which feels like a dirty trick, but I digress). I can see this causing issues for those with tic disorders.

The book starts out with the promise that if you can make it all the way through without blinking, you don't have to go to bed. Now, as an adult we can see what the point is... but a child might not understand that they're being played. I would've ended up so frustrated trying to suppress my blinks, and ultimately would've felt like a failure for not being able to do so. Tears of frustration at bedtime is probably not the desired outcome.

For kids who don't have a problem with tics, there might be some value in this book. But I still think it could end up being frustrating, especially for little perfectionists. The aim of the book is probably going to be misunderstood by many young children, and it could lead to problems. It sounds like a good idea in theory, but I'm not sure if it would work in practice.

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

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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