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Have I Got a Book for You! Hardcover – Aug 1 2009

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Product Description

Quill & Quire

The title of Mélanie Watt’s newest picture book pretty much says it all. Have I Got a Book for You! is a self-reflexive and broadly comic parody of self-promotion that invites its young readers to become critical consumers of advertising. Mr. Al Foxword, salesrat, makes a hyped-up pitch for the very book in our hands. Al’s previous customers include a mole (buyer of the Deluxe Dirt Vacuum), a fish (happy purchaser of an umbrella), and a penguin (proud of his latest acquisition, a fridge). Watt lays out Al’s pitch with characteristically zesty design and exaggerated, colourful cartoon images, playing off the stereotype of the sleazy salesman with plaid jacket, bow tie, and toupée. Throughout, she sends up advertising claims and sales pressure. (“Buy now! Quantities are limited!” “What’s better than this book? TWO books!!!”) In the small print on the back page, Watt thanks her editor “for buying into all my ideas, especially this cheesy one,” ­­leaving the reader laughing, or perhaps feeling like an idiot for having forked over $17.95. This reviewer is definitely in the former category.


... a self-reflexive and broadly comic parody of self-promotion that invites its young readers to become critical consumers of advertising.

Driven by a particularly artful use of page turns, this makes compelling reading. Have your credit card ready.

Jokes and interactive fun are the point here ... Give this to Mo Willems’ legions of Pigeon fans.

Foxword’s clever sales techniques make this book funny to the hilt.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
One Persistent Salesman March 11 2010
By Janette Fuller - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"Have I Got a Book for You!", by Melanie Watt, is a hilarious story about a fox who could sell an icebox to a penquin. Mr. Al Foxword could also sell an umbrella to a fish and a vacuum cleaner to a mole.

In this book, Al is trying to sell us a book. He is speaking directly to the reader and he is using every sales pitch known to man. Al could easily get a job on a late night infomercial program. He has an answer for every objection.

When I was a school librarian, I was always trying to "sell" my students on books. This book is perfect for sharing aloud with students. Kids will be laughing their socks off.

The story has a surprise ending that will put a smile on the face of your most serious child. I LOVE this book! Young children will find the book funny and entertaining. Older students will recognize the salesmanship techniques that Mr. Foxword is using. This book is a great example of persuasive writing. Get this book will be glad you did!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is a totally daffy book about a slightly shady salesman that you simply won't be able to resist! Or can you? Nov. 22 2009
By D. Fowler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Al Foxword is a shifty, sly salesman that could sell you a used toothbrush and make you happy you bought it. Of course he was sporting his best mismatched plaid suit when he had his picture taken for the Salesman of the Month plaque at work. You do have to look good if you're planning on selling stuff. He had many great testimonials to his name, including one from Penguin who claimed, "Al's a genius! I'm finally cook thanks to the ICEBOX 200 he sold me!" He sold an umbrella to Fish and a dirt vacuum to Mole. Both were very satisfied customers, but Al has something special to sell to you. Because it is "your lucky day," he's going to sell you a book!

He won't sell you Sleeping Beauty because that one will "put you to sleep," nor will he try to sell you a math book because that one is NOT fun (not at all). He won't sell you a book about cooking broccoli because it will "leave a bad taste in your mouth." Naturally the dictionary is out for obvious reasons. Before he goes any further with his sales pitch, Al says he would like to compliment you on what you are wearing today. He's going to throw you a few pitches that will entice you to purchase a very special book. He'll make sure you buy the book in a specified number of minutes AND will throw in a special bonus. Al says "I know what you're thinking: `Al, this is just too good to be true!'" Do you know which book the master salesman, Mr. Al Foxwood, is trying to sell?

This is a totally daffy book about a slightly shady salesman that you simply won't be able to resist. Of course if you remember salesmen like Crazy Eddie from New York or have a few hard sell salespeople in your area you're going roll your eyes and chuckle just picturing them when you see Al in action. This book has every sales pitch I've ever heard from "I'll make you an offer you can't refuse" to "Buy now! Quantities are limited." You've come to the right place if you want to buy a book, but if you want lemonade you're out of luck!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Watt does it again. Aug. 24 2009
By V. Campbell - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am a big scaredy squirrel fan! Of course I was hoping that she would write other scaredy squirrel book but this one is great too. It has the same humor but it reminds me of an infomercial.

VC, Children's Librarian, Portland, OR
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What a salesperson! Just BUY this book! Nov. 17 2009
By avid reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I chuckled when I first started reading. Then, I laughed out loud. Then, I read it to a group of second graders. I'm telling you, this guy could sell ice to a freezer and the freezer would think that it was getting a deal! Short read that gets across, in a funny way, principles of selling techniques and sales-speak. Too bad Billy Mays is dead. I can almost him barking out the text of this book! Pair this with Agee's book Nothing. Nothing
Hilarious April 8 2010
By Madigan McGillicuddy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Now here is a book that sells itself! No, literally, it really does. Al Foxword is such a slick salesman, he can sell a refrigerator to a penguin, an umbrella to a fish, a dirt-buster vacuum to a mole... but that's not his mission today. No, today he ready to sell YOU his book. In a fast-paced, silly patter that will be familiar to anyone who's ever stayed up late and seen one of those late-night infomercials, Al treats readers to a good-natured, persistent, hard-sell. The loveable, plaid-wearing Al continually sweetens the pot -- one book sounds pretty good? What about TWO books? Purchase now, get a FREE bookmark! How about 747 books! What'll you do with 747 copies of the same book? Why, it's the book fort you've always dreamed of!!! (duct tape not included)

When all else fails, Al's got a surefire trick to get his book sold. "You break it, you bought it!" with a realistic looking die-cut "ripped" page at the end.

I read this at a toddler storytime, and it was a little over their heads. The parents were nodding and smiling, though. I think older kids, especially those with a budding skepticism of commercialism, will enjoy this offering. Put this in the hands of kids who've been bugging you for every last thing they've seen on TV and see if the message sinks in.