Author/Illustrator: Melanie Watt
Publisher and Year: Kids Can Press, 2009
Number of Pages: 30
Salesman Mr. Al Foxword claims that he can sell anyone anything, even the book that is being read. Al isn’t very convincing, but by the end of the book, the reader still feels like they have to buy the book.
This book couldn’t really work as a window, mirror, or door. It teaches no lesson and has no real point, other than amusement. In this story, all of the power is in the salesman’s hands. He forces the reader to continue along in the book and at the end of the book, the reader sees that a page is ripped so they are forced to buy it. The “you break it, you buy it” idea is so common in society, mainly because sellers know that no one else will want a broken item, so it would be in the seller’s best interest to make the person who broke it, buy it.
Perceptually, the words add to images and vice versa. There’s lots of dialogue, which makes it an easier read and more entertaining. The main character is speaking to us the entire time. He uses sarcasm and generic compliments to convince us to buy the book. Structurally, the words and images are set up in a way that it looks like an advertisement. Al, the salesman, appears multiple times on one page near the end. He is starting to lose control, as he cannot seem to convince us to buy the book. He also appears much bigger on pages where he is offering something that he feels is irresistible (but is actually really dumb)—almost like he’s in our face telling us to buy it.