My kids weren’t interested in their afternoon tea when I brought this story out from my bag. Spoons were dropped and mouthfuls of hot chocolate were swallowed with a gulp. It’s a story that was once just an idea, which became a draft, a second draft, a third, a twelfth. It’s been sent around the world, from California to New York to Arizona to Malaysia, and was read today in a little cafe in little New Zealand.

How This Book Was Made, by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex, shares the many adventures a story idea goes through before becoming a book. The writing process, the discussions between author and editor, illustration and printing, its near abduction by pirates and actually abduction by a swooping eagle. You’re either utterly confused by this last statement, or having a giggle. Of course there’s a bit of the ridiculous in this one, and that’s why my kids have not touched their biscuits. This book is informative. A great intro for any kid interested in a creative process and/or who has aspirations to be an author, illustrator, editor, or work in the publishing industry. This book is funny. A perfect mix of seriousness, hilarity, absurdity and sweetness.

But it’s not officially a book until it’s read. This book needs you. “…a book still isn’t a book, not really, until it has a reader. And then along came you.”

A tiger and his posse are waiting, pirates, astronauts, an old lady and her dog, the author and illustrator, they’re all waiting for you. How This Book Was Made comes out TODAY! So stop what you’re doing, head to the bookshop, pick up this story and give it a read.


  • Published by Disney-Hyperion
  • 6-10 years
  • 4.5