Posted by: Sarah Stokes | March 13, 2011

Post Script

A discerning eleven year old reader, who has not yet seen ‘It’s a Book’ but has read my review here, suggested that it might be a good book for older readers to discuss the individual advantages of media texts and traditional books. I agree completely, and can’t wait to hear her views once she has read the book!

It surprised me, therefore, only yesterday to find ‘It’s a Book’ advertised in a weekend newspaper as being for ‘0 to 4 year olds’. It seems to me that either the advertiser had not read the book, but had interpreted the simplicity of style and sparcity of words to indicate a book for very young children, or that they had completely missed the subtleties of its message.

I wonder how many of you have read this book yet? I would love to hear your views!


  1. Which paper was it?!? My guess is that they didnt read the book–or simply skimmed through it! I know that children growing up with access to media from birth will have a different relationship with books and media than we do but I don’t think a child 0-4 would actually enjoy the picturebook’s irony at all!

    • It was an advert on the back pages of the ‘family’ section of the Saturday Guardian. Great to see the book there, but I’m not convinced the age limit is particularly helpful.

  2. Dear Sarah,

    Thanks for the insights, the clear writing, and the useful information. What struck me on first reading was that it would be useful to have some idea of the age range *you* would recommend. I understand that part of your purpose in this blog is to bring interesting books to the attention of readers of all ages, but as the comments of previous readers suggest, all of us might find some guidelines useful, though I think most of your readers will be aware that chronological age often is not a useful criterion, and certainly not the ones that publishers suggest. I have long depended for recommendations on a shop that specializes in things for children where the owners are particularly knowledgeable about books. I’ll recommend your blog to them and to friends with young children as well as to a couple of authors who write for children. I look forward to reading more of your astute recommendations. Sharon

    • Dear Sharon,

      My apologies for taking so long to respond to your comments. Thank you for your enthusiastic reflections! You’re absolutely right about the age range issue and I shall endeavour to make that clear in future blog entries. My particular area of interest within the realm of picture books is with texts written for older readers, I suppose, 9 – 17 years old and beyond, although this does not preclude my interest in books for young readers. I am also fascinated by books which address more sensitive issues (although I am keen not to refer to these as ‘issue books’ ….). My Masters dissertation explored books dealing with drug-related death, homosexuality and bereavement at the loss of a primary carer. I spoke at a London conference in the Autumn about the book on bereavement, and hope to have a follow-up article published later this year.

      As far as I’m concerned, these books can be central to a young reader’s exploration of key ideas or experiences at a particular point in their lives.

      Sarah x

  3. Dear Sarah
    I have read this book and think it would make a great resource for teachers who would have the discussion it provokes with all the children in their class/school. Children need to know that it is still completely acceptable to read books despite what their friends might say about screens being ‘cooler’.
    Your blog is a lovely idea. I’m sure parents will find it helpful in sorting the good from the not so good especially if they source books online. Sue

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