Whose Story Is This, Anyway? by Mike Flaherty and Illustrated by Oriol Vidal

I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.

Whose Story Is This, Anyway
Whose Story Is This, Anyway?  is a humorous jab at self-importance while tactfully suggesting that paying attention to those around us might be more of a win for everyone.

A young boy has a wonderful story to tell us.  We’re going to love it — because it is all about him.

He’s just starting to tell us about his cat, Emperor Falafel, when a pirate has the NERVE to interrupt him and then go on to accuse our protagonist of interrupting him!  (I tell you, some people!)

Sample spread 1

From Whose Story is this, Anyway?  Image used with permission.

Then, out of nowhere, a dinosaur comes onto the scene to check out what’s going on.  Our hero is none too amused about being interrupted and having his story hijacked when, what do you know, aliens crash onto the scene.

Unphased by their shenanigans our boy is stubbornly insistent that this story will be about him.  Oh yes, it will.

A knight then charges in and that’s when our fair hero is about to lose it.  You gotta feel for him, he’s been trying to tell us this story for nineteen pages now and he’s not doing so well.

After the dinosaur calls out asking what everyone wants on their pizza, vikings, robots, and zombies enter stage left — the boy recomposes himself and tells everyone to get out.

The boy looks back to us and starts again — only he notices that we’re bored and yawning — because we want to hear a story about pirates, dinosaurs, knights, and aliens.  He gets the hint and finds a great way to tell us a story about himself AND about all of the amazing people he’s just met.

This is a super-fun picture book for those who love to use a variety of character voices when reading.  The dialogue and bubbles are expertly placed and even color coded so that you can change voices quickly and confidently making for a smooth and animated reading experience that is entertaining and engaging for anyone within earshot.

The illustrations are impressive and skillfully done.  The colors, cartoon-animated quality, and how well they revolved around the dialogue make for a clean, well-paced, and energetic reading experience.  This is the first book we’ve seen illustrated by Oriol Vidal, but after checking out his website, I’ll be looking forward to seeing more of his work.

Whose Story Is This, Anyway? gently and adroitly pokes fun at and yet sympathizes with young and old alike who get interrupted while trying to tell a group a story.  You’ll simultaneously empathize with both the boy being interrupted and the cast of characters trying to get in on the action.  It’s a great way to show multi-perspectives while also introducing subtle teaching moments about handling frustration, being interrupted, why we don’t (or shouldn’t) interrupt, and why its important to include all those around you and not just focus on yourself.  It’s very loosely like a How to Win Friends and Influence People for kids — but with way more pirates, dinosaurs, aliens, and knights — oh, and giggles.

My eldest son giggled through it and declared that it is “GREAT!” and, “Just my kind of book!” My youngest son just wanted me to read it again and again and again.  This is a great book to read to a large group or to just one other person — but make sure your character voices are at the ready.  It’s a blast.

Recommended Ages 3 to 7. Sterling Children’s Books. May 2016. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-1454916086. Fiction.

Where to Get it:

Author and Illustrator Websites:

  • Author:  Mike Flaherty (Doesn’t seem to have a personal website.  This is jacketflap.)
  • Illustrator:  Oriol Vidal (His illustrations are a feast for the eyes.  They’re gorgeous!)

More Reviews of this Book:

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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