REVIEW: This Book Is Not for You! by Shannon Hale, illustrated by Tracy Subisak
From New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor–winning author Shannon Hale and award-winning illustrator Tracy Subisak, comes a zany picture book that pokes fun at overly gendered notions of “boy books” and “girl books” and celebrates the pleasure of a good book.
Stanley’s thrilled for bookmobile day—until the old man at the window refuses to lend him the story he wants, all because it features a girl. “Girl books” are only for girls, the book man insists, just like cat books are only for cats and robot books are only for robots. But when a dinosaur arrives at the bookmobile and successfully demands a book about ponies, Stanley musters the courage to ask for the tale he really wants—about a girl adventurer fighting pirates on the open seas. By speaking up, Stanley inspires the people, cats, robots, and goats around him to read more stories outside their experiences and enjoy the pleasure of a good book of their choosing.
This is a fabulous and funny way of pointing out that no one should be limited in what they can read “just because.” Not only should boys be allowed to read about girls, or robots read about cats, or Allosauruses read about what they want (and who would really tell an allosaurus “no” anyway?) but people shouldn’t be pigeon-holed based on what they look like because how you (presently) present to the world might not be exactly who you are.
Shannon Hale has done a wonderful job with the dialog and Tracy Subisak’s illustrations are light and charming. I really enjoyed this one. B+