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The Book That Wouldn't Read - Te Pukuapuka Ka Kore e Pānuihia by Tim Tipene


Some people find it hard to read, the boy in The Book That Wouldn't Read is one of them. But there are books that make you read them and they open up a new world. This book is one of them.


Setting out to attract the sort of reluctant reader that he used to be, author Tim Tipene (Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Whātua) happened upon an idea - a book that takes over and effectively reads itself. When a young boy who doesn't like reading has to investigate when he finds a book on the library shelf.


Sentences move around the page, words change colour and disappear, bold fonts and characters get the young boy jumping around, much to the horror of his teacher and classmates.


Many readers who struggle will be able to identify with everything that happens in this disruptive book. Except, it isn't them struggling to read, it's the book itself playing tricks.


Tipene describes some of the struggles faced when reading is a hard task, letting children know it is possible to overcome those difficulties.


Illustrator Nicoletta Benella makes the book's world come to life with crisp, clean artwork. The design makes it appealing to reluctant or dyslexic readers, with text bursting across the page, incorporated into the illustrations or disappearing altogether.


A te reo Māori edition - Te Pukapuka ka Kore e Pānuihia - opens the book up to an even wider audience. Translated by Kanapu Rangitauira (Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou, Te Whakatōhea), there's some fantastic new kupu to learn - wupi wuu for example.


The Book That Wouldn't Read is a really interesting concept and Tipene does a great job of portraying how our younger generation can feel when literacy just doesn't click for them.


Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell

Oratia Books

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