Lehrhaupt, Adam. Do Not Open This Book! Illustrated by Matthew Forsythe. Book Review.

Click here to buy Warning: Do Not Open This Book!

My 23-month-old daughter’s eyes were big as saucers when we began to read this book. She is just learning about jokes so, to her, this book might have been a serious threat. When the monkeys appeared, and I laughed at their silliness, she realized that nothing bad was actually going to happen and began to enjoy the text. After we finish the book, and talked about it a little, she asked to hear it again. Now it’s one of her favorites.

The book reads as though the author is speaking directly to the reader. The child is introduced to some interesting vocabulary: “catastrophe”, “extreme measures”, and “toucans”. The book lends itself well to reading with great drama.

The watercolor illustrations are done mostly in shades of brown, black and muted red. The monkeys appear to be actually painting the page. The double-page spreads are filled with activity and imagination.

This is an entertaining book that children between the ages of two and seven will greatly enjoy.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages