Thursday 16 February 2012


Don't by Ann Harth, illustrated by Angelita Ramos (Soto Publishing)
PB RRP $9.00/$12.95
ISBN 9780982171110
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Don't is a story that will ring true for young and old alike. Jackson's busy family is always telling him, 'Don't.' But as soon as he hears that word, he is immediately drawn to the forbidden and  disaster inevitably follows. However, Jackson's school teacher Miss Connor prefers 'do'. This simple act boosts Jackson's feelings of self worth and even when disaster still ensues he is able to stay calm.

Ann Harth carefully selects her words and the reader is with Jackson all the way as his 'shoulders twitch and ... fingers tremble.' My particular favourite is 'my skin quivers like a horse with flies'. The text is filled with humour and though the story has a powerful message it never comes across as didactic. Angelita Ramos's bright and colourful illustrations faithfully portray the text. She is particularly good at depicting Jackson's facial expressions. i could almost see his mind ticking away.

With its message of positive reinforcement and the encouragement of children, Don't would be especially useful within pre-schools and in early primary school as well as reminding all of us in contact with children that encouragement wins out every time.

Don’t can be bought on Amazon:
or directly from the publisher

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