How I Read (Jeff St. Germain)

Hello, friends! Our book today is How I Read, written by Jeff St. Germain and illustrated by Kate Papadaki, a look at all the diverse ways to enjoy books, and all the diverse readers who do.

Told in first person, the narrator introduces themselves as an avid reader; they read every day, and in every way! Inside or outside, poems and stories, for fun and for learning. They read about all different subjects, both fiction and nonfiction. And one of their favorite things to read is a toast to all the readers out there to love books just as much as they do.

Books about books are a perennial favorite of ours, and while there are a fair amount of areas in which this indie title falters, its intent and message is pure. One areas that exceeds is the simple artwork, which depicts a healthy diversity of readers: boys and girls of various skintones and ages, including one in a wheelchair, are all enjoying books and reading. This focus on diversity – both in the materials read and the readers themselves – is intentional, and works well. It serves as both a message of inclusivity and encourages beginning readers to find their passion for reading in whatever materials speak to them. However, the rhyming text leaves much to be desired: the frequent rhythm changes make it difficult to read aloud, and several rhymes are either lackluster (“history” & “story”) or awkwardly forced (“myths” & “ogres”). Otherwise, the length is fine, and JJ enjoyed the cute illustrations. A sweet, if fairly uneven offering that succeeds where it matters most: in promoting diversity and a passion for reading. Baby Bookworm approved!

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