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The Picture Book Buzz

This Book Is Definitely Not Cursed - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

If you enjoy meta-fiction, interactive books, and silly body humor this wacky new picture book is perfect for you.

Book cover - fuzzy creature standing on a stool looking at the title Surrounded by spiders, spooky eyes, and bats.

This Book Is Definitely Not Cursed

Author: Megan Woodward

Illustrator: Risa Rodil

Publisher: Aladdin Books/Simon & Schuster (2024)

Ages: 5-8



Meta picture book, goofy, body humor, grossness, and giggle-inducing silliness.


Engage even the most can’t-sit-still little ones with this laugh-out-loud, interactive picture book for fans of The Book with No Pictures and The Monster at the End of This Book!

If this book were cursed, then you would probably become cursed if you read it. You’d start to experience strange symptoms, like the wiggles, the giggles, trouble licking your elbow, and all your food tasting like cabbage. And then you would need to take silly steps to break the curse, like reading a goofy poem or smelling someone’s feet.

Luckily for you, there’s no need to worry because this book is definitely not cursed! So read away without fear.

Opening Lines:

Ha! You actually fell for that?

It’s a huge mistake to judge a

book by its cover, because this

one is


And since you opened it,

now you’re cursed. So is

anyone reading it with you,

including that

weird bug

on your


What I LIKED about this book:

If the cover didn't tip you off to the silly humor in the book, the front end page most certainly will. There will be few straight faces in adult readers or listening kids when they discover the narrator's name is - "Clustercrump McTootyboots."

Internal spread - against a skooky purple backdrop with spiders, webs, and bats, a fuzzy yellow monster holds a sign :This book belongs to Clustercrump McTootyboots."

Text © Megan Woodward, 2024. Image © Risa Rodil, 2024.

A cross between The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak, this book is full of silly wording, situational humor, and efforts by the furry yellow narrator to control the reader's actions. Cursed or not, Risa Rodil's clever design, from the playful typeset to the spooky, boldly colored illustrations - check out the shadows of the flames behind the crouching narrator and the "weird bug" - will visually engage and entertain the child listener and reader.

Internal image - on left, fluffy yellow monster narrator crouches, smirking at the reader. On the right, a googly three-eyed bug perches on the shoulder of a black human silhouette.

Text © Megan Woodward, 2024. Image © Risa Rodil, 2024.

After explaining what a curse is ("bad news"), and baiting the reader into turning the page, our "friendly" monster narrator informs us that he's cursed and will only be free if he gets enough people to read the book. Unfortunately for the reader, it they "have any of the following symptoms, it means the curse is already working: The wiggles. The giggles. Trouble licking your elbow. A heartbeat.” With a sarcastic sense of humor, the narrator explains the horrors of the curse - starting with screwed up tastebuds and cringe-worthy nose hair. Fortunately, he knows the specific steps to take which can (maybe) reverse the curse. Such as . . .

Internal spread - on left, fuzzy yellow monster in a suit jacket and tie pointing "Step 1" on the blackboard. On the right, a big, bare foot radiating stinkiness.

Text © Megan Woodward, 2024. Image © Risa Rodil, 2024.

Step 1:

Pull one of your

feet up to your

nose, and smell it.

Can't reach? Smell a foot of the

person next to you.

The remaining entertaining, gross, and silly rules, along with the many crazy antics of Clustercrump McTootyboots will leave kids snickering, rolling with laughter, and asking for it to be read again and again. This is a giggle-inducing interactive picture book full of goofy and gross body humor and gags. A fun read-aloud for 'kids' of all ages.


Photo collage of pompom and yarn monster crafts.
  • make your own fluffy pompom or yarn monster.

  • if you created a cursed book, what consequences would happen to anyone who read it? Create a list or draw an image of the results of your curse.

  • what would you make readers do to lift your curse?

If you missed my interview with Megan Woodward on Monday, find it (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions and resources see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.


Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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