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⭐⭐⭐ out of 5
Like with all the books I read and review, this one is gonna start off with the full 5 stars and the hope that they will still be firmly in place by the time I reach the last page.
I'm immediately thinking, without even opening the front cover, that this book has been self-published purely because the reading age is "Baby - 12 years" which covers 4 different age ranges that are the industry standard. I'm guessing it's a picture book because of having 32 pages, which is the industry standard for picture books.
I've got the Kindle version, so lets open the book up and start reading so that I can review the content of it for you all.
Just opened it and cor lummy is the choice of font and size of the text hard to read! I can imagine an adult picking the book up in a shop, and giving up after less than a sentence. That's without even mentioning the front cover being waaaay too mature for such a young audience! The first star is already teetering on the edge which is unfortunate.
There's no way a child under the age of about 8 would understand "Delicious" or "complimented" so maybe the author is aiming it at closer to the top of the advertised age range but didn't have enough ideas to write any more than 32 pages? Either way, the first star is coming off already.
I've got a headache and eye strain from having to hold my Kindle so close to my face to be able to read the text. Apparently it might have been written for newer Kindles (I've got the first generation one) so I'm not knocking the second star off for that, just in case, but I'm in pain and my eyes are sore now, so I'm grateful it's such a short book after all.
This is definitely not suitable for children under 8 years old, purely because of the word choices, but a 12 year old wouldn't read it because it's not mature enough for them, so this should be aimed, I reckon, at 8-10 year olds, rather than birth to 12 and as a very short story rather than a novel.
In 4 paragraphs of literally a sentence or two each, we've gone from Tansy thanking Granny to reading the list, arriving at the swamp and rescuing a dragonfly. This book has definitely been self or vanity published 'cos there's no way a traditional publisher would put this book on the market. With a thumping headache, I'm knocking off a second star.
And the book has finished in literally 11 pages, the other 21 are 2 front covers, a page with just the title, a page with the ISBNs, yet another title page, the copyright page with a poorly placed dedication, images, 11 pages of the story then "support the author", acknowledgements, about the author then the back cover. There's almost more about the author and the necessary copyright and stuff, but each page, without fail, has an image after it.
This is obviously the author's first book and she has no idea at all about how to write something for the appropriate age and obviously couldn't be bothered to even begin to research it before she hit the "send" button on her manuscript and got all the butterflies when she had it in her hands for the very first time, which is fair enough, but there's no way that a child would read this book willingly, sorry.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5
If you've read any of my other recent book reviews, you will already know that every book I read starts off with the full 5 stars and that I always hope it'll finish with 'em all still in place too.
I'm taking a risk with this book 'cos ghost books usually give me nightmares for several days afterwards, but as this is a picture book and the ghost on the front looks like a cartoon and I'm reading it in the afternoon instead of close to bed time, I'm hoping I'll get away with it this time ;-)
I've been OK with the first two pages... I'm wondering about the word choice of "complexion" though, 'cos a small child wouldn't have even heard the word before, let alone know what it meant and might have to interrupt the person reading it to find out, so it's a wobbly star already unfortunately, just not for the reason I was thinking is all.
The author has used complexion again on the next page, along with another new word, frail, that small children wouldn't have a clue about either... the star is currently clinging on by the tips of it's fingers.
Not sure I approve of the image on page 3 - the way that the adult male is chugging from a bottle makes me think it's a bottle of alcohol and the character drinking it is drunk... not a good image for a child unfortunately. A second star is wobbly now.
Now the author has chosen a third word that such small children wouldn't understand, so that's the first star gone.
"Utmost" is used on the next page... I realise that the author is trying to introduce new words, but using four new words in four pages is a bit much, especially as there's no explanation of what each of the words mean within the book!
Now we've got the image of a man in his undies, a can on the floor, bottle on the table and a bowl of popcorn which is screaming alcoholic to me unfortunately. Like with the words, the images have one more chance otherwise the second star is coming off.
Just finished reading the book and thankfully there weren't any more inappropriate images for such a young audience, so the book finishes with four stars... it's like the author has been desperate to find rhyming words and those words and images have been too advanced for such a young audience.
It's a good book, but at 40 pages long (the industry standard, in the UK at least, is either 28 or 32 pages), the word choices and a couple of the illustrations, are just not appropriate for a Picture Book unfortunately.
It's taken all day, but that's it until NaNo is over and done with, then I'll plan out my JanNo novel and might write another ECB or tackle my editing pile before then... I'm just gonna bask in the glory that I'm prepared and ready to write starting on 1st November.