Monday, May 16, 2016

I Wonder...Why this Book Was Published...

It's not often that a book confuses me...this one, may just be the first. Note for instance, that the sub-title is "A Book for children, parents, and other grownups." We all know that adults sometimes read books to children, but that's not what this says... Indeed, the material presented is also confusing...is it all for children? Definitely not. ...some for parents, and, of course those other grownups who might pick this book up and "wonder" if they want to read it??? My thought? Don't Bother...

Note the cover for instance. While beautifully done except for the same nose for the children...it shows a complete picture within the total larger version.  My first question...I wonder why oh why that was done...

First is 14 pages of similar poems, based upon, I suppose, a child's wonder about the world. Again, the illustrations are beautifully done except for a mouse that size-

wise is 3 times the size of the cat, both of which were mentioned in the poem. 







How I wonder little mouse, safe
inside your little house,

Why you venture out for cheese

And brave the cat for what you please

How I wonder little mouse, safe
inside your little house.
~~~

Obviously a clever child will question that little tale... But that didn't bother me as much as the use of words to fit the poetry:  "blog...mater... Eating people is so rude...pollinating...agog...flagging...gnat...why you're eating cloth...off-beat...weaver (beaver)...dome...hibernating...lair...venture...elegant (elephant)... Those who hunt you are deplorable...scion (lion)...brood...Flitting...unfurled...

The issue for me was using words that seemed to be beyond the vocabulary of a child. If it had been a story and the words were further explained as a learning tool, some would have been all right; e.g., hibernating in a lair could have been clarified with sleeping in a cave, to broaden the definition, but that doesn't work with poetry that is precisely done to rhyme, with words chosen for that purpose...  I wonder, would a child know that moths eat cloth? And should we spot to a child that some people hunt elephants and kill them? And a blog, I wonder if children already know what a blog is when most adults I talk to...don't...

Next is a story called The Glow-Stones. It remains in the child's section but the boy is almost a man and leaving his home. If I were to judge myself, this story would be appropriate for early to late teens. But the printing is still in the size used for children and apparently meant as part of that section. The story is rather nice, but can you picture a teen reading "a section" of a child's storybook?

Part II is for adults and takes readers back to "I wonder," but I couldn't quite get past the idea that many thoughts in the poetry were sardonic... supposedly humorous?

How I wonder little baby; if you'll grow and be well maybe
First you're nursing then the bottle
Yell 'till parents want to throttle...

How I wonder little boy why parents think you're such a joy--
Such a winner mischief-making
Acting good but really faking...

How I wonder little girl, twisting up your little curl
Why smiling wide-eyed innocence
Thoughts are lurking you're not dense...

What is this book? It's a mish-mash of short writings by one person...Do you buy it as a child's gift, only to not want later stories read by them? Do you decide which can be read by YAs? Or do you allow all of them to read the, I guess what could be funny, humorous for some adults... As I started writing my review, I became upset that the writer did not take the time to learn about editing, writing to your audience, genres, marketing and all the other things that must be considered in producing one book...

There is nobody to whom I would recommend this entire book. 


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