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Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite
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Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  664 ratings  ·  155 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 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2013, childrens, humor
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jackie Ciufo
A story of the ugly duckling goes terribly wrong when a crocodile enters the book. Now the duckling has to try and get rid of the beast, and the task almost proves too much for the little guy.
This post-modern picture book was really creative, but I don't think I would recommend it. It is really good for entertainment, but I believe the best books have lessons or are relatable, and I felt this book was neither. The illustrations were cute, and the alligator and duckling looked like they were from
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
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
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
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.
A great, fun book to read with 3 and up. With the very young you have to explain the little ugly duckling's presence.
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
Kathleen Dixon
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LH Johnson
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
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.
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
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
Wendy Unsworth
A fun book for pre -schoolers, especially those apt to wriggle away from your lap when faced with too many words to listen to. A crocodile finds his was into a book that was meant to be a gentle fairy tale and starts chomping away at the words, making holes in the pages and causing general mayhem! The reader is invited the tip the book and shake it about in order to get rid of him. I liked this book but felt it had more novelty value than staying power as a story that would be enjoyed again and ...more
Sharni Benson
I like it. It has the subtitle The Ugly Duckling because it starts off reading that book and then a crocodile burts in and the ugly duckling tries to find a way to get rid of it.

Quite funny and interactive with an unusual ending that you can kind of see from the back of the book.
I read this book at storytime today and the children really liked it! Seriously, there was definite laughing out loud this morning. I love books that are interactive and meta. They make the reading experience so much more fun and three-dimensional for children.
Janet Ross
This is the cutest children's book I've seen! This is so clever in that it's interactive, and different! Our little 4 year old covers his eyes every time he reads about the author making fun of the crocodile by drawing a tutu on him........ So cute!
Kristina Lareau
I love metafiction. This book, rendered with mixed media, follows the footsteps of A Book by Mordicai Gerstein, We are in a Book! by Mo Willems, The Three Pigs by David Wiesner, along with the interactive book: Press Here by Hervé Tullet.

In Open Very Carefully, a crocodile interrupts the telling of "the Ugly Duckling" and proceeds to disrupt the story until he eats a hole through the end papers and disappears!
This would be a fun book to read with children at a very precise stage in reading development. They need to read easily enough to be entertained rather than confused by the disappearing letters, but still young enough to think the jokes are clever.
Cute! In the vein of Emily Garrett's Again, Battle Bunny, and Press Here, this book wants the reader to physically play with the book AND the characters to take on a meta life of their own. Not so sure about the book entreating my children to get a crayon and draw in it. Maybe this isn't meant to be brought home as a library book...
I'm partial to books that speak to the reader and get the reader involved. I don't remember reading any good books of this type in the last year so this one will be going on my list to try with preschoolers. The crocodile does not bite anyone. He would rather eat words and sentences. Of course, it's hard to read a book without words so the little duck has the reader try a few things to make the crocodile leave.
A wonderful book that encourages interaction (rock the book from side to side, shake the book), and elicits squeals of delight from Mini-Me - a crocodile has jumped into the pages of the Ugly Duckling. The only drawback for me was the "since you ate our letters, we'll draw all over you" bit - cute, to be sure, but not a message I'm sure I want Mini-Me to be absorbing. Brought an otherwise 5-star review down to 4.
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