From the get-go, I was inclined to like Book. I’m a member of LitPick; I love books! Though I knew about papyrus, Gutenberg Bibles, and printing presses, I still discovered quite a few fun facts about the history of books. Did you know that an Assyrian king had a library with a kiln to bake clay tablets, an old form of books?
This book is clearly meant for kids, though I think that adult bibliophiles will also enjoy it. Brief chapters are great for short attention spans, and Packer’s illustrations are stunning. Some are charming additions to break up pages; others are diagrams that show readers things like how to make papyrus paper.
In between chapters are quotes or poems about reading, which first seemed a little odd. Eventually I got used to them. Some were really lovely; others were humorous. I know that I’ll be copying Emily Dickinson’s poem about books into my notebook!
I noticed that the author, Agard, is a British poet. That might explain the long sentences that sometimes drifted into lyrical prose. He also name-dropped Harry Potter, which is always a plus. I liked how the author made Book a bold character. He once remarks, “When politicians talk about closing libraries to save money, I feel like knocking them over the head.” My thoughts exactly!
Book is a unique, educational read that bibliomaniacs of all ages can learn from. I only wish it had been a bit longer, so that I could enjoy more of Book's autobiography.