Book review: Do not open this book by Andy Lee and illustrated by Heath McKenzie.


img_8185Andy Lee first wrote this book as a gift for his nephew and sister but with close ones seeing its potential and illustrations completed by Heath McKenzie, it is now a bestseller in Australia.

The picture book is aimed at children 5 years and up but I was still excited to share this with my 3 year old.

I kid you not, it took over 10 minutes before Little One decided that it was actually ok to open the book, this I may add was partly initiated by Dadda.

“We can’t open the book, mamma, it says we can’t.” She was right, we weren’t “meant” to read the book and in turn this was a good point. This book would be a great read for reluctant readers! It has everything a young reader will enjoy humour, suspense, silliness and its a book that’s teasing you to break the rules.


Meet “Monster,” at least that’s what Little One calls him. He really doesn’t want you to read this book and he will say and do anything to stop you. His choice of words, I find, are not too dissimilar to some parents when they are doing that parent thing of wanting to be heard, or that bossy friend at school who, well, likes to be heard.


The book itself is not a story book but more a dialogue spoken by the monster who becomes increasingly frustrated as more and more pages are turned. His expressive, flustered faces I’m sure will have many young readers engrossed and will be sure to receive giggles. What is this monster trying to hide?

The varied page layout and experimental typography add so much to the book and I love when the Monster goes quiet. Yes! He actually goes quiet and you receive the silent treatment, for a few pages. Fantastic!


The illustrations are comical and set against clean backgrounds, there is no missing what Monster is doing. Andy Lee and Heath McKenzie have done a brilliant job at creating a book where the words and illustrations marry so well together. This would be an amazing book to share with a group of children and a splendid example of read aloud fun.

What happens to Monster at the end? Well I don’t really want to spoil the surprise but I will tell you that everybunny will be shocked.


Thank you to Studio Press for sending us this book.


What are your thoughts? Leave a reply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.