There’s a cast of zany characters in “The Wall in the Middle of the Book,” a picture book with an off-the-wall plot by Jon Agee. The story opens with a rhino, front feet against a stone wall, peering up, a droll-faced tiger beside him. On the opposite side of the wall, a knight approaches, ladder in hand, ready to fix some missing stones.
“There’s a wall in the middle of the book,” he says, adding, “And it’s a good thing too.” Readers don’t know why it’s a “good thing” yet. But they will. As the knight works away, moving up the ladder, on the other side the wall the rhino, tiger and now a gorilla, stand on each other’s backs to reach the top, but tumble down.
The knight continues to climb, “If the ogre ever caught me, he’d eat me up,” he says, imagining the horror on the other side, totally unaware his side has danger too, water with an enormous alligator in it.
The tongue-in-cheek humor continues, the knight ending up between a rock and a hard place as he comes face to face with the ogre in a nonsensical story that scales the heights and delivers the unexpected. Make knight-time reading fun with Agee’s newest. Preschool to third grade.