Three Children’s Books

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2013/09/01 by rmstrong1980

This time, I am reviewing three children’s’ books my son and I read while on a trip across town on public transportation. I have also asked my son, who is 6 and reads at a third grade level, to give his opinions of the books, answering three simple questions (What is the book about? Did you like it? Why or why not?).


Olivia’s Pod: An Orca’s Tale by Kurt Medinger:Olivia

Son: It is about a Orca—a fish thing. I loved the book because it’s cute!

Mom: Olivia’s Pod is a book I received for free in exchange for a review. The book follows the life of a killer whale named Olivia who lives with her family group and travels from Alaska to Washington in search of food. The author used images of whales from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help illustrate the story. The book is a good read for a 5 – 8 year old, the text is simple enough—and the larger or more scientific words are explained in terms a young school-aged child can understand. The book is more informative than entertaining, and the “tale” is more “a day in the life of,” however, Olivia was a good, quick read and even on my black-and-white Kindle screen the images were crisp and clear. I would definitely recommend it to someone whose young child wanted to learn more about killer whales.



Monsters I Know by Peter MonstersW. Collier:

Son: The book is about monsters. I loved the book because I like the monsters. My favorite monster was the spaghetti one!

Mom: I didn’t like this one as much as my 6-year-old. It is not formatted well for Kindle, though I think that those issues may resolve themselves in print. Many of the words are too long for a first grader and I did have to stop and explain what some words meant to my son. I found some of the rhymes ill-contrived (“lint” and “footprints”, “insist” and “this”, “unexplained” and “again”, etc., don’t rhyme). There is no set cadence to any of the vignettes and very little punctuation (many lines end in semicolons) to help the rhymes flow. My son—the target audience—loved the book and the illustrations (which were a bit childish), though, and we will keep the book on the Kindle since he can read it on his own. I definitely will not be reading the book to him again.



The Kitten That Roared: A Kitten Called Kitters by Bob Guelfi. Kitters

Son: The book is about a kitten called Kitters who wanted to be a tiger. I loved the book because the pictures were cute.

Mom: This one was better than Monsters I Know, and a good way to round out the bus trip. Kitters is a small kitten who wanted to be a tiger, all well and good. The pictures, as my son said, are very well done, and the book is formatted as images on the Kindle so everything looks the way it would in print (minus, on mine, the color). The text is a little hard to read when it is over a dark background, but the words have a glow effect around them and, while difficult, it is not unreadable. Kitters tells a story of courage. The word choice is excellent for the target age group. The only thing I would have changed is the moral of the story. It is not a bad moral, but it just seemed as if the author put it in there just to have a moral. It fits well with the story, but not necessarily the storytelling. All in all, though, a good book and one we will probably be reading again.

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