Today’s team review is from Judith she blogs here, http://judithbarrowblog.com/
Judith has been reading A Most Reluctant Princess by Jean M Cogdell
I read this book with my six year old granddaughter who is sitting with me to make sure I write what she says (her words.)
Okay, here goes. Seren enjoyed this book very much. She likes the pictures (illustrations) and she loves the story. She likes the idea that she can be anything she wants to be when she is bigger. (which is what her mummy says to her) . And she runs to the door when Daddy (or Mummy, she adds) comes home from work.
My thoughts (she’s gone now, satisfied I’ve written the right words):
I too loved the illustrations,(which are excellent and tell a story in themselves) and I liked the premise of this picture story book, though, in this format, obviously written for an American readership. (would be an idea to alter a few words for a UK readership and publish in the UK? – just a thought)
Picture story books are very close to poetry in many ways. One of the most important is that they both are intended to be read aloud. So fluency is essential. If the format is meant to be regular in rhythm, then each line must have the same amount of syllables. If not then the tendency is to stumble over the lines, which spoils the flow. In A Most Reluctant Princess, not every verse/ page works. Most do, but one or two don’t (I’m thinking of the second “bakery” page here in particular – and the second “Doctor” page)
And, occasionally the rhyming isn’t quite there.
Turning the pages to see what happens next seems to be important for children in picture story books. So , often there are connecting words ” And/But /So.”Or often those three little dots – the ellipses. Not being any in A Most Reluctant Princess,I felt the story to be a little disjointed.
But these last few paragraphs are obviously an adult point of view. And, to be fair, I should say I teach creative writing and picture story books are an included genre.
So, as a last word, I will leave it to the expert, who has just bounced back into the room. ‘ A Most Reluctant Princess is a lovely story with lovely pictures. And will you make me a crown, Nanna?’