I almost feel like I am cheating for this box on my bingo card… Almost, but not quite. I decided earlier this week to include How This Book Was Made by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex as my book published in 2016 because it was so clever and fun. It only feels a bit like cheating since it is a picture book. But a wonderful one at that!
How This Book Was Made takes a look at the process of taking an idea and turning it into a book. And while it highlights the draft upon draft upon draft that are written before that nugget of an idea flowers into a published and read book. I love the story as it goes off onto tangents like angry tigers, pirates and astronauts. The illustrations are a fantastical match to the whimsy of this story – some pages have models that seem to pop off the page, others are pencil drawings on colored paper. When the story talks about places like Malaysia (where the book was printed), Malaysia is highlighted in a picture of an actual globe.
I would recommend this book to just about anyone, not only children, who is interested in book publishing or likes looking at their world from a slightly skewed point of view. I will leave you with the last couple of sentences, which do a great job of tying it all together. “Because a book can have words and pictures and paper and tigers, but a book still isn’t’ a book until it has a reader. And then you came along. and you read this book through to the very last page, which was how this book was made.”