Schoenherr, I. (2009). Read It, Don't Eat It! Greenwillow Books.
Appetizer: This picturebook shares some rules on how to respect books.
I like the way this picturebook is structured. Each two-page spread shows an illustration of an anthropomorphized animal with a book on one side and, in large text, a rule of how to treat a book with a solid colored background.
Having said that though, I'm not actually fond of the illustrations. I've run into this problem before. I don't think I like anthropomorphized animals to look too realistic as they parade around a room in clothes. I like the animals to be more cutesy. I did like that the animals were often relevant to the rule about how to treat books. (For example, on the page about not dog-earing a book, a very (cute!) shocked dog is caught in the act of folding down the corner of a page.)
While I do think this book has some wonderful lessons for new library lenders, I personally do feel there are occasions when it's okay to write in a book. It's this event, called grad school....
But seriously, This would be a good book to contrast with The Book Eating Boy or the Chester books.
For middle grade and young adult students that still need to learn some of the same lessons, I recommend the heading that introduces the fifth chapter of Ink Heart:
"For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him.
Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted.
Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to this agony till he sing in dissolution.
Let bookworms gnaw his entrails...and when at last he goeth to his last punishment, let the flames of hell consume him for ever.
Curse on book thieves,
from the monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona, Spain" (p. 45).
Loves it! I wish I'd shared that with the student who pilferred four of my picturebooks last quarter. I really need to memorize this quote for future recitation. It's begging to be said aloud. With a nice cackle at the end. At the very least, I should engrave this on my office wall. (I doubt the university or future occupants of the office will mind too much, right? How could you not agree with that sentiment?)
"Read it, don't eat it."
"No dog-ears, please."
"Borrow, don't steal!"
To Go with the Meal:
Although it probably won't do much good, a teacher could try to show this book to teething wee little ones. I use the term "show" very intentionally. Do not hand a picturebook with rip-able, easily dampen-able paper to a wee little babe. Hold those books at a distance. Give the kid a fabric or board book. Those are good for drool.
With a slightly older set, the books could be used before going on a trip to the library. But since, in essence, Read It, Don't Eat It! is a list of rules, it's kinda stuck being an educational text for wee babes. But, when finishing, a teacher could still give the kids options to come up with a rule or two of their own to help them feel welcomed and powerful.
Tasty Rating: !!!