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Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,093 Ratings  ·  192 Reviews
What would you do if you were settling down for a quiet bedtime story and you realized that a crocodile had fallen into your storybook and was — not to put too fine a point on it — wreaking havoc? Would you slam that book shut and cram it back onto the bookshelf? Or would you be brave enough to peek?
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Nosy Crow (first published 2013)
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Oct 24, 2014 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, humor, 2013
This is a humorous tale that includes the reader in the storyline, encouraging the reader to interact with the book. The narrative is conversational and entertaining and the illustrations are colorful and cartoonish.

The crocodile isn't too scary and might add some laughter to storytime. I'm afraid this isn't likely to be the best book to get a child to settle down for sleep, but it is fun to read aloud. We enjoyed reading this book together.

After reading some of the reviews here, I noticed the
Jun 11, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
A little duckling is trying to tell you a story when a very scary crocodile appears and begins eating letters out of words, leading to a frantic attempt to rid the book of the beast. Very interactive and lots of fun.

For a storytime, pair this one with The Monster At The End of This Book by Jon Stone (the Sesame Street classic) and We Are In A Book by Mo Willems. Also try Harold and the Purple Crayon for drawing a world into reality or Again! by Emily Gravett for the surprising last page. Anothe
Kathryn (Nine Pages)
There is something a little reminiscent of David Ezra Stein's Interrupting Chicken in Bromley's Open Very Carefully. As in Stein's book where the young chicken keeps interrupting the stories that her father is reading and changing their endings, here an alien character interrupts a popular, well-known tale. Here "The Ugly Duckling" is interrupted by a foreign crocodile, and the Ugly Duckling interacts with that crocodile. The Duckling also recognizes the reader, complaining, "He's eating all the ...more
Theresa Love
Jun 06, 2013 Theresa Love rated it it was amazing
Are you looking for some laugh out-loud fun? What starts out as a sweet retelling of The Ugly Duckling,
turns into a story hijacked by an annoying crocodile. The Ugly Duckling does not have time to be
concerned that his siblings are beautiful; he has to get rid of a pesky crocodile.

“Watch out! He’s on the move. What is he doing? He’s eating the letters! He must be hungry!”

Get ready for an interactive adventure with each page turn. Can you help the Ugly Duckling?

“Now he’s gobbling up….whole wor
Dec 18, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
My 5-year-old very much liked the hole in the back of the book where the crocodile had munched his way out!
Dec 01, 2015 Michaela rated it it was amazing

Bibliographic Information
ISBN: 0763661635
Author: Nick Bromley
Title: Open Very Carefully: A book with a bite
Publishing date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Nosy Crow

Winner of the Best Picture Book category of the Stockport Children’s Book Award
2014 Nominee for the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award

What would happen if a crocodile crawled into a storybook? The Ugly Duckling is about to find out!

One day, while reading The Ugly Duckling, you turn the page and a crocodile is there! How di
Feb 08, 2015 Madison rated it really liked it
Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite is a book that right from the start you know you will be in for a humorous read. As the story begins there is a simple story of the ugly duckling that seems to have a twist because by there is a creatures tail in the side of the page right by the text. As you turn the page you realize that this creature is a chubby friendly looking crocodile. The ugly duckling addresses the reader in asking what has interrupted his story. The crocodile does not appear to be ...more
Sep 30, 2014 Selina rated it it was amazing
If you are looking to get a child to laugh, this book could be it. In Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite, the ugly duckling who happens to be the narrator of the story. As we follow the story with the fairy tale character the ugly duckling he is interrupted by a crocodile. Throughout the story the ugly duckling tries to tell his story but keeps being interrupted by the crocodile who eventually eats his way out of the book. Hence the title A Book with Bite.

First off, in this picture book the n
Sep 24, 2014 Julia rated it it was amazing
In this novel, it starts out describing what seems to be the classic tale of the ugly duckling. However, the author is startled when a tail is still out behind the page. He continues to be puzzled and eventually finds the source of the problem: a crocodile! Then, the narrator proceeds to try to get this beast out of the story by any means possible. In the end, the crocodile ends up getting out and the narrator can finally be at peace.
I really enjoyed how interactive this book was with the audien
Hannah Wolf
Sep 24, 2014 Hannah Wolf rated it liked it
This story starts off by saying it's going to tell the tale of the ugly duckling. As you turn the next page their is a crocodile tail on the right side of the page and the narrator seems confused asking what could a crocodile possibly be doing in this story? The story continues on and the crocodile even starts to eat the words in the story! The crocodile wants to get out of the story but can't seem to find it's way. He decides to just eat through the pages until he is out and he leaves a hole in ...more
Sarah (Books Before Bandaids)
Jul 05, 2016 Sarah (Books Before Bandaids) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Day 5 of the #astoryadayjuly challenge is bump in the night. Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne with words by Nick Bromley is a mischievous look at what happens when a big, scary crocodile gets loose inside the pages of The Ugly Duckling. This is a great read aloud as the crocodile starts eating letters and then words and entire sentences. The illustrations are so funny, especially the ugly duckling with his little red hat who tries to help you out. I love the pi ...more
May 21, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
There are picture books out there where a character in the story hijacks the tale and chaos ensues(think "Z is for Moose" by Bingham) or the actual physicality of the book becomes part of the story like David Weisner's "The Three Pigs". Sometimes these devices work, as in the above mentioned stories but lately I've been reading some that just feel forced.
"Open very Carefully: A book with bite" has an unruly character that takes over AND the actual physical book is used as a plot device. When a
Sep 04, 2015 Bryce rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-we-own
Thanks again Aunt Janet! The kids have loved this, especially Ethan. I don't think we've been able to read this just once in a sitting. We usually have to read this at least 3 times before moving on.
Apr 29, 2014 Ali rated it it was amazing
This was a great kids book! This past weekend we were spending time at one of our favorite stores, Barnes & Noble. My 9 yr old was looking at the middle grade books. Her little 6 yr old sister was bored. We were standing right next to a display that was "Fun to read out loud" books. I picked this one up and started to read it to my 6 yr old. She loved it! In fact, by the time I finished reading the book, there was a small group of little kids listening and they all seemed to love it as much ...more
Shannon Jacob
Oct 20, 2014 Shannon Jacob rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
Bromley, N., & O'Byrne, N. (2013). Open Very Carefully: A Book With Bite. London: Nosy Crow.

IPA Children's Choice Award

Choice Book

This is such an exciting and funny book to read to children! They will love the story about a crocodile who crashes a typical bedtime story and interrupts a retelling of the story of "The Ugly Duckling." The crocodile begins to eat letters from some of the words which makes the duckling talk funny and readers are told to rock the book to get the crocodile to sleep
Jun 05, 2013 paula rated it liked it
Three stars for Nicolas O'Byrne's sharp, soft, endearing illustrations. Her crocodile has the sass and tubby swagger of a toddler. The story is a bit of a bore, though.
Dec 11, 2013 Sylvia rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1storytime-books
A great, fun book to read with 3 and up. With the very young you have to explain the little ugly duckling's presence.
Silvia Romano
Aug 06, 2015 Silvia Romano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro perfecto para niños de 3 y 4 años. Una historia simple (a los niños de esa edad no les interesan mucho las moralejas: se dejan llevar mucho más por los colores y los dibujos) y unas ilustraciones muy vistosas. Los chicos se ríen de cosas simples y este libro funciona por esa misma razón. Utilizar la figura del cocodrilo no es muy original pero...¿a quien le importa? Los cocodrilos tienen un "no sé qué" que enganchan a los pequeños. Y, como siempre, un libro infantil no debe gustar a los ...more
Matti Karjalainen
Nick Bromleyn kuvakirja "Open Very Carefully" (Nosy Crow, 2013) on persoonallinen kuvakirja niin tarinansa kuin kuvituksensa puolesta. Se alkaa kuin mikä tahansa versio rumasta ankanpoikasesta, mutta sitten paikalle saapuu krokotiili, joka pistää kaiken uuteen uskoon muun muassa syömällä tarinasta kirjaimia (erityisesti O- ja S-kirjaimet ovat sen lempiruokaa) ja kokonaisia lauseita.

Ankanpoikanen yrittää tehdä kaikkensa, että homma saataisiin taas toimimaan entiseen malliin, ja lukijan tehtäväksi
Jennifer Heise
Sep 15, 2015 Jennifer Heise rated it liked it
A quick little action book, with a lot of 'shake the book back and forth' and interpreting what's going on the page. For adults who don't like 'meta' storylines, this could be a drag, but for my six year old and I, it was a little young and a little short, but we sure had fun with it. I still prefer I Love Going Through This Book and other similar books, but for a three to four year old this could be a good short active read. (Not really suitable for bedtime, as there is a lot of shouting, wavin ...more
Alexandra Hammerton

A very fun book, it is the classic story of the ugly duckling with a twist. A dangerous and hungry crocodile has turned up in the wrong book. He gradually eats his way through the story mixing it up and he eventually begins to eat the words and then his way out of the book! This is a really fun story and is great to get young children excited about reading. The illustrations are in eye catching water colour and the text is large and easy to read. However, the layout is unconventional which could
Kathleen Dixon
Jul 05, 2014 Kathleen Dixon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, humour
This is, in my opinion, the best of these books-that-know-they're-books for children that I've share with the grandchildren lately. The Herve Tullet one didn't appeal that much to them (what is it . . . oh yes, Help! We Need A Title!), the little one - It's a Book - is really amusing, but more for adults than children, The Boring Book (which just won the NZ Post Children's Book Awards) has too many words flitting round the pages and the reading-aloud adult doesn't know what to do with them .... ...more
Mar 23, 2013 Bdalton rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LH Johnson
Nov 30, 2013 LH Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, funny
I am thinking about Christmas and whether I focus on it on the blog a little with it being, well, the run up towards Christmas. The problem I have is that I think there's not really any specific book I would reccomend you purchase as a present (for, I hope, if it were worth featuring, I would feature it irrespective of it's present potential and of the time of year) and I'm not particularly timely with my reccomendations at times (what with being wed to my library and their purchasing patterns). ...more
Cammy Koch
Sep 22, 2015 Cammy Koch rated it it was amazing
It's very difficult to get 5 stars for storytime books from me, but this one manages to hit some of my favorite features of a good storytime book. It's funny, interactive and has hidden educational features. The crocodile is eating his favorite words and now sentences! It allows you to teach the difference between a word and sentence. Also, it's super cute to have the kids shake along when shaking the book. It just means that the kids are engaged and paying attention. Loved this one :)
This is a wonderful, exciting, can’t-wait-to-turn-the-page book for younger children. Starting out to tell a story of some young ducklings, something unexpected happens, a crocodile enters the story too! That’s not right, he shouldn’t be there! You’ll need to read the book to see how the problem is solved, at least it seems like it’s solved… The illustrations are bright and bold with small details added in occasionally.
Jan 08, 2015 Kendall rated it really liked it
Another foray into interactive books and one that's fun for kids. Nothing gets a read aloud more raucous than a book with a narrator who enters the picture. Like We are in a Book, The Book with No Pictures, The Three Pigs (Wiesner) and Bad Day at Riverbend, little ones love it when the narrator jumps into the story and comes alive. A whole lot of fun. MO Building Block Award Nominee 14-15.
Ying Lee
Dec 06, 2013 Ying Lee rated it really liked it
Genre: Postmodern
Copyright: 2013

The ugly duckling from "The Ugly Duckling" is going to tell the story of "The Ugly Duckling." However, the appearance of a scary crocodile interrupts the story and even started to eat letters! The duckling begins to worry that Mr. Crocodile will eat all the letters, which leaves no words for a book and a story. To turn everything around, the duckling figures out ways to stop Mr. Crocodile eating letters and make the crocodile leave the story. This book reminds me
LCL Children'S
A fun book to read aloud for story time. A hungry crocodile stops the story of The Ugly Duckling and starts eating the letters, then words, and then sentences out of the book. The Ugly Duckling encourages us to help him get the crocodile out of the book. Wait until you see how the crocodile finally leaves the book! JM (Utica)
ESF Tsing Yi
What happens when a crocodile takes over a fairytale? I love this book, and our students love it too, especially the hole at the back of the book where the crocodile makes his escape. Talk about a book with bite! Great for interactive readalouds, as the readers help to get rid of the pesky crocodile.
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