Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Goo and Spot in the Do Not Wiggle Riddle by Elsa Takaoka, Catherine Toennisson

Rating: WARTY!

This book offered a riddle to entertain young children, but I thought it wasn't very well executed. I don't apply the same strong criteria to children's books that I do to adult and young-adult novels, but I do expect a decent story, or a whole lot of fun, and some educational content. This one failed on all counts. I can see where the author intended to go, but for my money she fell far short.

The idea was a commendable one: the aim is to try to get kids to understand that there are times when they need to sit still, and pay attention, and not fidget, and so on. Good luck with that! The riddle was supposed to help with this but it was long, and all over the place, and so poorly metered that it became a real distraction.

Maybe that was the intention - distract the kids so that they forget to fidget? It didn't work for me. It felt to me like children would be more likely to fidget and call out answers because they couldn't see where this was going, and they were being given no clues unless you count one long, almost endless negative 'clue'. I really don't. Not for young kids.

The problem is that the so-called riddle wasn't even a riddle, it was a long, raggedy ramble about what this story was not about - with no clue whatsoever what it was about. Catherine Toennisson's art work was uninspiring, too, and I know from her website she can do better. I honestly can't recommend this unless you're into nonsense "rhymes" and very basic children's stories.