Author Topic: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?  (Read 1048 times)

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Layla Miller

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Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« on: June 25, 2013, 12:48:55 PM »
I'm hoping you wonderful e-hellions can give me some good ideas here.  I volunteer with my church's library committee, and one of the things we're trying to do is get the congregation more aware of what books we have.  Right now we're focusing on children's books, and because I have an infant daughter the other committee members suggested the idea of DD "writing" a book review of one of our children's books for the church newsletter.  That is, I'd write it from her POV.

Now, I don't have a problem with the idea in general.  However, I just don't feel comfortable doing it myself.  I don't even put DD's name on birthday cards!  I admit I find things like that a bit on the cutesy side, and I'm not a big fan of cutesy.  In short, I'd rather not do it.  At the last meeting when they asked me to, I made a sort of non-committal reply along the lines of "I'll see what I can come up with."

So my question to you all is this: what can I do instead?  I'm totally on board with reviewing a kid's book, but I just don't want to do it in DD's voice.  So does anyone have ideas for some kind of gimmick for a book review that's still cute without going overboard?

(I hope this makes sense.  Please let me know if you need me to clarify!)
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amylouky

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 12:54:16 PM »
I'd just write it as, "DD's Favorite Book", in third person.
If anyone asks about the change just say you couldn't get it to sound right without being too cutesy.

dawbs

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 12:57:04 PM »
Could you approach it from the "books that you can read aloud 47 times in a row without wanting to stab your own eyes out with a nasal aspirator" angle?

cwm

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 01:02:29 PM »
Could you approach it from the "books that you can read aloud 47 times in a row without wanting to stab your own eyes out with a nasal aspirator" angle?

You just made me snort bagel!

WillyNilly

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 01:33:29 PM »
I've seen movie reviews where the reviewer writes in the first person but references a child companion and quotes the kid. Something like:

"While I appreciated the real life parallels offered in Little Red Riding Hood, my 6-year old companion Chris commented that he thought the morals were a bit heavy handed, "I mean really, eaten by a wolf?" he exclaimed at one point, smacking his own forehead. Oh how jaded today's kids are. Chris did however give feed back that the illustrations were great and he really liked the suspense offered as the three bears approached home."

Layla Miller

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 03:08:34 PM »
Could you approach it from the "books that you can read aloud 47 times in a row without wanting to stab your own eyes out with a nasal aspirator" angle?

Ha!  I just might work something like that into it!  :D

I've seen movie reviews where the reviewer writes in the first person but references a child companion and quotes the kid. Something like:

"While I appreciated the real life parallels offered in Little Red Riding Hood, my 6-year old companion Chris commented that he thought the morals were a bit heavy handed, "I mean really, eaten by a wolf?" he exclaimed at one point, smacking his own forehead. Oh how jaded today's kids are. Chris did however give feed back that the illustrations were great and he really liked the suspense offered as the three bears approached home."

That's kind of the angle I'm leaning toward--using my own voice but incorporating DD into it somehow.  Obviously I can't really quote her (unless "Mbbbla la la <clap clap>" would work), but I think I'll pay extra close attention to her reactions when I read it to her and see how it goes.

Good suggestions, thanks!
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*inviteseller

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 09:41:03 PM »
Anyone else hearing Stewie Griffin discussing Green Eggs and Ham?  Anyone??  Oh, ok, just me ;D ;D

I would tell it from your point of view, but why your DD likes it (Easy sight words with colorful pictures that DD loves).  Personally, with a baby, I think a review from their POV would be "Pages ripped nicely and the cover made quite a peachy teether!"

Curious Cat

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2013, 10:32:18 PM »
How old is your daughter? You could ask her what she likes about the book and incorporate her quotes or paraphrase.

Layla Miller

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 10:38:21 PM »
How old is your daughter? You could ask her what she likes about the book and incorporate her quotes or paraphrase.

She's ten months old, so not talking yet.  I did read it to her earlier, though, and have a bunch of notes about things she responded to and other reactions.  I think I can pull off at least a few paragraphs, and with a little luck it'll be cute and not cutesy.  :)

Please do keep the suggestions coming, though!  I feel much better about this project now.
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Library Dragon

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2013, 10:55:00 PM »
I've seen movie reviews where the reviewer writes in the first person but references a child companion and quotes the kid. Something like:

"While I appreciated the real life parallels offered in Little Red Riding Hood, my 6-year old companion Chris commented that he thought the morals were a bit heavy handed, "I mean really, eaten by a wolf?" he exclaimed at one point, smacking his own forehead. Oh how jaded today's kids are. Chris did however give feed back that the illustrations were great and he really liked the suspense offered as the three bears approached home."

I did this a lot for my children's lit courses.  There are the books parents and teachers think children should like and the ones children actually like.

Try "Books Both You And Your Child Will Enjoy!" Include reasons why each would like the book.  the Rogers and Ebert approach. 

Mom: I really liked the underlying theme of welcoming the stranger.

Child: I liked how the Sneetches and the Peaches became friends.

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zyrs

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 10:45:39 AM »
"This book has many bright pictures and tastes great."

pearls n purls

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 10:58:11 AM »
I think it's best to do a review that's not 1st person from your daughter's perspective, but it is possible (kind of) to do without being too cutesy.

I loved the simple language and concrete concepts.

The rhythm was quite enjoyable and I bounced along to it as it was read to me.

The illustrations are beautifully drawn and not too complex for my 10-month old eyes.

I enjoyed X storyline and insisted my mom/dad read it at least three times before going to bed.

I do like WillyNilly's suggestion.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2013, 02:49:46 PM »
Could you approach it from the "books that you can read aloud 47 times in a row without wanting to stab your own eyes out with a nasal aspirator" angle?

Ha!  I just might work something like that into it!  :D

I've seen movie reviews where the reviewer writes in the first person but references a child companion and quotes the kid. Something like:

"While I appreciated the real life parallels offered in Little Red Riding Hood, my 6-year old companion Chris commented that he thought the morals were a bit heavy handed, "I mean really, eaten by a wolf?" he exclaimed at one point, smacking his own forehead. Oh how jaded today's kids are. Chris did however give feed back that the illustrations were great and he really liked the suspense offered as the three bears approached home."

That's kind of the angle I'm leaning toward--using my own voice but incorporating DD into it somehow.  Obviously I can't really quote her (unless "Mbbbla la la <clap clap>" would work), but I think I'll pay extra close attention to her reactions when I read it to her and see how it goes.

Good suggestions, thanks!

I agree that writing the review from the baby's perspective would be way too cutesy, but IMO ending a non-cutesy review with a "quote" could actually be pretty funny. E.g., "This book is a definite keeper with it's simple storyline and bright illustrations. As [Baby] herself described it: 'Mbbbla la la <clap clap>.'"

Layla Miller

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2013, 03:32:37 PM »
I agree that writing the review from the baby's perspective would be way too cutesy, but IMO ending a non-cutesy review with a "quote" could actually be pretty funny. E.g., "This book is a definite keeper with it's simple storyline and bright illustrations. As [Baby] herself described it: 'Mbbbla la la <clap clap>.'"

Ooooh, I like that idea!

Thanks again, everyone.  I've been putting off writing it even though I have my notes organized and everything, but you're doing a great job getting me motivated.  :D
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EllenS

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Re: Advice on non-cutesy children's book review?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2013, 04:10:43 PM »
I think the babbble quote is a great little tweak.  sounds like a wonderful project!