Don’t Tell! (Tom Booth)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Don’t Tell! by Tom Booth, the sequel to the delightful Don’t Blink!.

The little girl and her animal friends from the first book are back, but really, they’re surprised to see YOU here. See, this book was supposed to be a secret! Who told you about this super-secret book? The girl asks her friends Bird and Fox as they stop by – Fox thinks it may have been Monkey, but Monkey and Owl deny spilling the beans when they show up. More animals arrive, all insisting that they were not the one who blabbed. And then, Harvey the elephant appears and, well… Harvey has a confession to make…

Very cute. Once again, the fourth-wall breaking, dialogue-exclusive narrative is just right for reading aloud, featuring plenty of opportunities for children to interact with the characters, and plenty of different character voices and melodramatic text for readers to have fun with. The length is good, and JJ loved all the animals and the big climatic speech. There isn’t a grand lesson – the girl and animals quickly forgive Harvey for telling, then all run off together to share the news of their super-secret book with more friends – but that’s honestly fine. This is just a purely enjoyable book for any little reader, and we loved it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Don’t Blink! (Tom Booth)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Don’t Blink! by Tom Booth, a charming little tale of an epic staring contest.

A little girl sits cross-legged, staring at the reader, when a bird happens by and inquires as to what she’s doing. The girl explains that she is having a staring contest with “this kid”, pointing to the fourth wall, and the bird asks to join in. The girl welcomes the new player, and instructs the bird: “Just don’t blink!”. A fox shows up next, then an alligator, both asking to join the contest as well. Soon a whole menagerie has appeared, all holding on and trying not to blink. But all at once, they do. After a brief discussion of who the winner was, the animals depart – except for a tortoise who has been slowly making his way across the page all this time. He asks to join in the next round, and the girl and tortoise begin a rematch against the reader.

This was really cute. It’s a simple, straightforward tale that combines an adorable collection of animals, a great interactive premise, and fun dialogue-driven text with multiple voices that make it a delight to read aloud. The illustrations are darling, with the girl and each creature bright-eyed and full of character. JJ adored identifying all the animals, and loved the repetition of the “Don’t Blink” gag. The length is great for a quick read, and we really enjoyed it. Baby Bookworm approved!