Morry, The Book No One Ever Read - review

from Advance Reading Copy by Jon Mayes - We're thrilled to re-post this review from Jon Mayes' reviewing website, written by noted book reviewer Linda-Marie Barrett:

"In Cornelia Funke’s middle-grade Inkheart Trilogy, Mo is a book binder who brings characters out of books by reading their words aloud. Books brim with life, characters long to be set free, to jump into our world, to take us into theirs. We discover that books change as we interact with them, and we change, too. For Funke, reading is a process that changes everything.

As Inkheart is a book about books, so is The Book No One Ever Read, a picture book filled with the same mystery, magic and humor of Inkheart, though less menacing, which makes it appropriate for younger readers. Published by her own publishing company, Breathing Books, Funke’s newest work features a book called Morry, short for Maurice Sendak. His face peers out from his cover, an homage to Where the Wild Things Are. Morry is a young book--hip with his red high-tops, smaller and thinner than the other books in the library. He’s different from them in another, more important way; he’s never been read.

“Every book longs to tell its story,” our narrator informs us, though some less than others. The authors of the other books in the library are content to doze. When they do look at us from their covers, they appear suspicious, sly, worried. They fret about the damage we readers do to them with coffee, chocolate, and a reckless casualness with their spines. They’ve already been read, they’d prefer to be left alone. 

Morry pleads, “I want to be read, until I come apart!”
He sticks himself out from the shelf, and then is pushed off by a red-faced Victor Hugo and a slightly wicked Jane Austen. 

Morry survives his fall, leaves the library and finds what he seeks all along in the sticky fingers of a child dressed in a wolf costume. He will be read!


Funke’s elaborately-detailed colored pencil illustrations will spark conversation as readers guess at the authors peeking out through their illustrated covers. Funke hints at their identities through Dumas’ sword-wielding, Victor Hugo’s fierce facial hair,
Nietzsche’s mustaches, Jane Austen’s tendrils of hair framing her face.

Funke also encourages us to consider other questions. What happens to inanimate objects when we’re not looking at them? Do books talk to each other? Do they behave like the authors who wrote them, or the stories within their covers? What risks will a
book take to be read, to stand out among the others? Will it throw itself from a bookshelf, as has happened to many readers visiting bookstores or libraries, when a book suddenly leaps from the shelf towards them. Is it asking to be read? Is it risking all to tell its story? Funke suggest this just might be so, and that is a delightful thought.

 

You can read Jon's post in its entirety, including his interview with Cornelia, here