Award-Winning Books Early Readers Features Genre It's Monday What Are You Reading Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes The World In Books

[Monday Reading] Portrayal of Kids Distracted by (Or Looking For Their) Books in Picturebooks

"Book Or Bell?" by Chris Barton and Ashley Spires | "Where Are My Books?" by Debbie Ridpath Ohi | "The Boring Book" by Shinsuke Yoshitake.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

These picturebooks, discovered via Overdrive, are absolutely perfect for our World in Books reading theme as two of the titles feature boys who are so enamoured with their books that everything else fade into the background, while the third one reflects on the etiology of boredom.

Book Or Bell? [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Chris Barton Illustrated by Ashley Spires
Published by Bloomsbury USA (2017)
ISBN: 1681197294 (ISBN13: 9781681197296). Borrowed from Singapore National Library Board Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

A young boy named Henry has just discovered the perfect book ever written about bicycles. However, his reading is constantly interrupted by the school bell:

After much interruption, Henry decided that he will not allow school bells to faze him any longer. He has decided to just keep on reading (#BeLikeHenry).

What Henry did not realize was that his not minding the bell has unanticipated consequences, much like the story in Because A Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! – except that Henry did not have a cold, he just wanted to keep on reading.

This incident went up to the Mayor, to the Governor, all the way up to the Senator – clearly a bigger and louder bell is required to get Henry to stop reading and to heed the bell. Right? Wrong. How the story ends I shall leave for you to discover. This book also reminded me of Let Me Finish! by Minh Le and Isabel Roxas (Amazon | Book Depository) which I reviewed here.

Where Are My Books? [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written and Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (2015)
ISBN: 144246741X (ISBN13: 9781442467415). Literary Award: CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards Nominee for Read (2016). Borrowed from Singapore’s National Library Board Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

Spencer is evidently the little bibliophile. He has a favourite night-time book called Night-Night, Narwhal. He also has a book that he reads for “right-after-lunch story time.” And so when his favourite book went missing, it was an unmitigated disaster!

I am certain most bibliophiles would resonate with Spencer’s frustration. I am unable to keep still whenever I am unable to find a book in my pretty-decent book collection. I usually do not stop until I am able to locate it.

This is exactly what Spencer did: he did not stop until he discovers what exactly is going on – especially since more books keep missing every day!

While the ending did not really work for me all that well – the suspension of disbelief was not built up sufficiently, at least for this reader, for it to be credible – I still felt it was a fun book that young readers would enjoy.

The Boring Book [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written and Illustrated by Shinsuke Yoshitake
Published by Chronicle Books (2019) Original Title: Tsumannai Tsumannai by Hakusensha (2017)
ISBN: 1452174563 (ISBN13: 9781452174563). Borrowed from Singapore’s National Library Board Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

The premise of this book is pretty interesting – hardly what one would call boring. A boy is bored: his toys are boring, he has nothing to do – and his mother is no help, as you can see below:

As he ruminates on the feeling of being bored, he begins to wonder what the nature of boredom is, and what makes one feel bored, or what makes something fun?

With more questions come more questions that lead to different philosophical revelations and insights.

This was a surprising read that also has a fairly distinct sense of place. Definitely a reader will not be bored by reading this Boring Book chock-filled with details in the illustrations. See Fats’ review of the book here.

#ReadIntl2020 Update: 20 of 30 (country): Canada (Debbie Ridpath Ohi is a POC Canadian).

Japan (Shinsuke Yoshitake is from Japan).

#9 for Language (Japanese for The Boring Book).

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

4 comments on “[Monday Reading] Portrayal of Kids Distracted by (Or Looking For Their) Books in Picturebooks

  1. Completely Full Bookshelf

    These books sound great! The Boring Book sounds particularly fun; I enjoyed looking at the excerpted pages. Thanks so much for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun gathering of books this week, Myra! Love it! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can tell you that when a toddler wants a specific bedtime book and it can’t be found, it isn’t very pretty. Thanks for the introduction to these books about books!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I forgot that I wanted to read The Boring Book–thank you for reminding me. And Where Are My Books? is new to me, so I appreciate learning about it.

    Happy reading this week 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: