Alfred Zector, Book Collector

What It Is

As the title says, this book is about bibliophile Alfred Zector, a young boy who is lonely and shy until he discovers the magic of reading. A rhyming story tells how Alfred began collecting books and continued well into adulthood. In fact, he had so many books, every place in his house was crammed with them, even his refrigerator! With Grinch-like greed, but much more politely, he decided to collect every book in town right down to the last one, for which he traded his bike to a tike. While Alfred was locked in his house reading every book in town, life for everyone else became very boring, especially for parents and kids at bedtime. Years and years later, Alfred realized something was missing from his life and emerged from his house. Upon seeing a child riding his now rusty old bike, he happily tossed the young lad a book. And, like the Grinch on Christmas morning, Alfred set about the town and passed out his books to everyone. At last, he was finally happy because “the best kinds of books are the books that are shared.”

Why It’s Fun

Kelly DiPucchio’s rhyming story is a fun fantasy and makes one think about what the world would be like without books. Though Alfred is greedy like the Grinch or Scrooge, he’s not mean which reduces any “scare factor.” Macky Pamintuan, noted children’s book illustrator (Flat Stanley and Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew series) has a style evocative of “Saturday morning” cartoons, which is perfect for this wacky tale.

Who’s Going To Love It

The sweet spot for this book is kindergarten. Five- and six-year-olds are old enough to buy into the fantasy and young enough to enjoy its silliness. (My too-cool third grader thought the story was “dumb.”) The rhyming is clumsy in some spots, but the fun story and brilliant graphics make it a great pick from either the library or bookstore.

Reading Time

About four minutes

Read-It-Again Points

8 out of 10

Book Information

Alfred Zector, Book Collector
By: Kelly DiPucchio, Illustrated by Macky Pamintuan
Published by: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (2010)
Approximate retail price: $16.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: 3 - 6


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