Thursday, November 26, 2020

No Reading Allowed: The WORST Read-Aloud Book Ever by Raj Haldar & Chris Carpenter illustrated by Bryce Gladfelter

No Reading Allowed: The WORST Read-Aloud Book Ever by Raj Haldar & Chris Carpenter illustrated by Bryce Gladfelter

Published November 2020  Sourcebooks eXplore


In the vein of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, this delightful new book places pairs of similar-sounding sentences together and illustrates them in two hilariously different ways. These illustrations gone awry highlight how absurd the English language can be. But, have no fear! The illustrations will give you all the clues you need to decipher the true meanings behind these wily words. You won't be tricked by phrases like 'C Major, it's a beautiful key! / See Major, it's a beautiful quay!' Context clues, bright illustrations, and rhyming words will help readers navigate the ridiculous text with ease.

I love a book that shows us how absurd the English language can be.  

This is a book of homophones. Homophones being pairs of words that sound the same, but have very different meanings and different spellings.  

This book relies heavily on the illustrations for the humour, because the nature of a homophone is that each sentence will sound the same, it’s the spelling of the word that will change the meaning.  So reading this book out loud, without showing the illustrations might actually make it the ‘worst read-aloud’ book ever, as it states on the cover.  

It does however, make a great book for sharing and discussion, and an excellent choice to liven up an English lesson in the classroom.

This book is American, so for readers in Australia there may be some additional explanation of the words to ‘get’ the humour, as we pronounce some words differently, or we don’t use some of the words featured in the book. 

For example:

We saw the queen’s burrow thanks to our ant hill.

We saw the Queensboro, thanks to our Aunt Hill   

We don’t pronounce Aunt as Ant in Australia, so the sentences won’t sound the same.


The pitcher held the batter –We don’t use the word pitcher, here we call it a jug, and baseball is not a commonly played sport.

That’s nothing against the book.  I don’t think those ‘Americanisms’ will take away from the enjoyment of the book at all, and it gives parents/educators additional discussion points in regard to the English language.  Even though Americans and Australians speak English, there are still plenty of differences.

There is also a glossary at the back of the book, so if the reader is in any doubt as to the meaning of a word, they will find the answer there (although ‘pitcher’ is not on that list)

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the review copy  #netgalley

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