100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Wreck This Picture Book!

Don’t write in them. Don’t tear the pages. Don’t eat them. These are a few of the accepted “rules” of picture books, right?

But some books don’t follow these rules. And we love them for it.

I’ll share a few books that intentionally flaunt the rules, but I know there are more out there – let me know what I missed in the comments.


Title: Have I Got a Book for You! by Mélanie Watt

How It’s Wrecked: In a last ditch effort by the main character to get the reader to buy the book, he pulls out the “You break it, you buy it” move, revealing an intentionally torn last page.


Title: The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

How It’s Wrecked: The story is about a book eating boy. To illustrate the point, the back cover has a chomp out of it.

Let Me Finish

Let Me Finish 1

Title: Let Me Finish! by Minh Lê, illustrated by Isabel Roxas

How It’s Wrecked: In order to escape the horde of story spoilers, the main character tears through the page to escape.


Title: A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell

How It’s Wrecked: Peanut butter, fingerprints, marker – a perfectly happy story keeps getting interrupted by a not-very-neat reader.

Battle Bunny

Title: Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett, illustrated by Matt Myers

How It’s Wrecked: Presented as a gift book from grandmother, a kid takes Birthday Bunny and completely changes the story – pictures and all – with a pencil and wild imagination.


Thank you Keri Smith for the blog title inspiration.

Thank you Laurel Snyder for inspiring this post.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. How about Melanie Watt’s Chester books? Or Wait! No Paint by Bruce Whatley Or Chewy Louie by Howie Schneider

  2. The Queen of Colors by Jutta Bauer invites the reader to draw on the last page.

  3. Charlotte Snyder says:

    There is a difference between flaunt (to display ostentatiously) and flout (to disregard deliberately). You meant flout here. And I loved your selections!