The Wall in the Middle of the Book

The Wall in the Middle of the Book

There's a wall in the middle of this book. It's supposed to protect one side from the other.

This side of the book is safe.  The other side is not.

A brave knight stands on one side of the wall declaring his fears of everything on the other side of the wall where the clear and present danger resides. Our valiant friend tells us there's an ogre on the other side and if he catches our hero, the ogre would eat him up. But is this so?

We readers can see both sides of the wall so we become aware earlier than the knight that the tide is rising around him and bringing hints of danger with it that just might spell disaster for the brave warrior.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the wall the fearsome ogre is climbing the ladder as though to come over to the knight's side of the things.  He looks frightening.  It looks as though danger is on its way.

But things aren't always what they seem.

Beautifully symbolic of the divisiveness of our times, this book offers another possibility.  Maybe there are good guys and bad guys on both sides of the wall.  Just maybe there is someone on the other side who might save your life!

This is a wonderful read aloud to use in the library or classroom or at home to open children's minds when perhaps the minds around them are a bit closed.  This story gives them the chance to explore the potential for people to disagree with them or even look different from them and at the same time to hold some qualities to admire and enjoy.

48 pages          978-0525555452       Ages  5-9

Editor's Note:  This would make a great pairing with The Crocodile and The Dentist by Taro Gomi which looks at point of view in a wonderfully unique way.

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


A foolish knight is certain that his side of the wall is the safe side in this clever, amusingly meta picture book by the acclaimed creator of It's Only Stanley

There's a wall in the middle of the book, and our hero--a young knight--is sure that the wall protects his side of the book from the dangers of the other side--like an angry tiger and giant rhino, and worst of all, an ogre who would gobble him up in a second! But our knight doesn't seem to notice the crocodile and growing sea of water that are emerging on his side. When he's almost over his head and calling for help, who will come to his rescue? An individual who isn't as dangerous as the knight thought--from a side of the book that might just have some positive things to offer after all!--from the publisher


“You got to look outside your eyes

You got to think outside your brain

You got to walk outside your life

To where the neighborhood changes”

-- Ani DiFranco (1993)

“Mr. Gorbachev. Tear down this wall”

-- Ronald Reagan, speaking at the Berlin Wall (1987)

“I’m talking about precast going up probably thirty-five to forty feet up in the the air. That’s high. That’s a real wall.”

-- Donald Trump (February 9, 2016)

In THE WALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK, a young knight, who has been taught to fear what is on the other side of the wall-in-the-middle-of-the-book, is in for a good surprise when bad things happen on his side of the wall.

“There’s a wall in the middle of the book.

And it’s a good thing.

The wall protects this side of the book…

from the other side of the book.

This side of the book is safe.

The other side is not.”

While the young knight climbs a ladder and speaks fearfully of the ogre on the other side of the wall, his supposedly-safe side of the wall steadily fills with water and a crocodile appears. Meanwhile, on the other side, we can see the ogre who might appear scary to some but, literally, won’t hurt a mouse.

As things get truly desperate on the knight’s side, the ogre reaches over the top of the wall, plucks the knight from the rising water, and brings him to safety.


I’m on the other side of the book!

And you’re the ogre who’s going to eat me up!”

“Haw-haw-haw! I’m actually a nice ogre.

And this side of the book is fantastic!”

The knight realizes the truth about the other side of the book, and this leads to a joyful scene that recalls Max and the wild things having a wild rumpus.

THE WALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK promotes openness and letting down fears of “other.” It will counteract the prejudices that young children are deliberately or inadvertently taught by adults and by other young people.

There are plenty of adults who could benefit from a storytime presentation of this book!

Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA

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