Monday, August 17, 2009

Book Bombs....

My boys checked out over 35 books on our last trip to the library. They used to be into the toys at the library, then they got into the puppets, and now they are into the books! That is a good evolution. I should be pleased, but getting out of the library with three large book totes, diaper bag, infant, and two preschoolers is a tricky undertaking.

With that many books to read, we were destined to find some total bombs. Can anyone explain to me how bad children's books get published? With so many people submitting books to publishers I would think only the best would make it to print. So, here are some books to avoid:

When Agnes Caws by Giselle Potter; this book is more about cause that good reading. It was one for the birds, literally.

Seven Stories by Ed Briant; Ed was thinking he was very clever as he used allusion to all the wonderful children's classics, but Ed's book really lacked a true story of his own. And our main character, a young girl, lives somewhere in a large city and struggles with sleep on a nightly basis. My country boys who sleep well and hard could not relate.

Tyrannosaurus Tex by Betty G. Birney; the language was beyond them even though they were attracted to the dinosaur cover.

Wink by J.C. Phillipps; it was about Ninjas. My boys just aren't into Ninjas. They had no ability to relate.

Good Little Wolf
by Kristina Andres; I loved the idea, the concept! Each page had the right amount of words for a 3-year-old boy. That is why this one gave me the biggest disappointment. I just didn't get it. The art was strange, and I wondered if I was not appreciating something great, but I just didn't get it. There was nothing written on one page that drove a reader to turn to the next. Here are some of the lines, "In winter I keep all my friends cozy. Sometimes I tell them I'll grow and grow and grow right through the roof. But no one believes me." Each sentence was a new page. Anyone think this sounds good? I feel bad for saying this since this author has an impressive resume'. She studied art history and literature, studied painting and drawing; illustrated her first story when she was in the first grade.....must be me....

Now for our one awesome book!

Critter Sitter
! Go author Chuck Richards, well, actually illustrator. Even though the words were a bit above my boys' level, the pictures were so active and engaging, that they were able to be fully aware of the story and on the edge of their seats! Plus, boys like animals, or at least mine do. And what child wouldn't find escaping snakes and hyper-active dogs exciting as a little boy dives all around and tries to keep things under control! Good job Mr. Richards and good job Walker and Company! You produced a good one and we "force" readers of fine young lit applaud you!
This one is a must read!


Jane Gramenz said...

I cannot tell you how many books I've had to scratch my head at and wonder, "how did this get published? Must know someone at the house."

Laura said...

There was a book from the Library at my son's school that had such a terrible message. All the aides in the SPED room were horrified. It was about a nice monster who was ugly and only had one friend. He was so ugly all the plants died. At the end of the book this poor lonely monster dies. After he dies all the plants are able to grow again. What a terrible message this book sends to children, especially those who are different. I wish I remembered the name of this terrible book. It really made me sick to my stomach that someone would even write this book for children.
PS They were going to let someone know and hopefully this book has now been removed.