Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Litsa Trochatos
Illustrator:  Virginia Johnson 
Board Book
For ages 3 to 5
Groundwood Books, 2014   ISBN: 978-1554983551

As you have probably noticed, there are a lot of “don'ts” in this world. We are constantly being told not to do something or other, and what makes it really frustrating is that all too often no one explains why we shouldn't do it. If they do offer up an explanation, it is regularly far from satisfactory. Sometimes the reasons we are given are downright ridiculous. We are told not to run around in the rain because we will get wet. Of course we will get wet! That's why it is so much fun to run around in the rain!

In this board book we are presented with a series of amusing don'ts that actually make sense. How refreshing and sensible. All the don'ts are reasonable, and the accompanying illustrations help us to see why those dont's are 'good' don'ts.

For example, on the first page we are told “Don't start a food fight with an octopus.” On the next page we find out why this is sound advice. After all, an octopus has six more arms that we humans have, and it can therefore fling a lot more food around than we can.

Similarly, we are told, “Don't let a cheetah drive your car” because cheetahs like “to go really, really fast.” Everyone knows that cheetahs are speedy creatures and this advice is very wise and sensible. Now if only all the don'ts in the world were as intelligent.