Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I Still Hate to Read!

I Still Hate to Read!

Rita Marshall
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
The Creative Company, 1993   ISBN: 978-1568461748

Victor W. Dickens has a reputation to uphold. Everyone knows that Victor hates to read. He is a "B-minus daydreamer" who coasts through life. What no one – except for his dog Page - knows is that Victor has a secret life. He goes online where his "secret library" is hidden, and he reads. He reads all kinds of things and takes fantastical trips into his imagination. And he is able to do this because his imagination has been fed with the words of great writers.

Through books Victor has been an outlaw who rides with the likes of Billy the Kid. He has suffered through the horrors of the Black Plague, and he has "even tasted Japanese food."

Determinedly Victor holds onto his secret, despite his nosy older sister's pestering. And then, one day, Victor contributes to a class project. He brings in a "visual aid" for the reading circle and everyone discovers that there is much more to Victor than they thought was possible.

Children who like books but who don't want to get caught with a book in their hands will greatly enjoy this book. They will understand what Victor is up to, and they will revel in his sneakiness. They will also delight in his bookish adventures and the friends that he makes during his travels. Best of all perhaps, they will discover that being bookish is not something that one needs to hide. Instead it is something that can be shared.

Beautifully written and cleverly presented, this picture book is a must for everyone who enjoys a good book.