Showing posts with label Chloe Sanders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chloe Sanders. Show all posts

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Little Mermaid Against the Shark by Chloe Sanders

Rating: WORTHY!

I really did not like Chloe Sanders's My T-Rex Gets a Bath, but this story was altogether different.

Frankly, this book sounded from the title like it was a rip-off of the Disney Movie or of the original story itself which Disney ripped-off, but it wasn't. I can't blame it for the title: every author needs to try and get an edge, after all - and the story was original, fun, instructive, and has a wry sense of humor running through it. It was faultlessly-written, and beautifully illustrated (by the author, who is a talented artist - and who is not to be confused with the actor of the same name!).

Celia the mermaid is out looking for her friend Billy the dolphin so they can go play, and as the two of them set out, they encounter a bullying shark. Here is where the book departs from what you might have expected at this point, and Celia really comes through and shows her smarts, making a friend instead of an enemy. A great lesson in diplomacy! I recommend this one.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

My T-Rex Gets a Bath by Chloe Sanders

Rating: WARTY!

This one is nicely illustrated and poetically written, but I felt it was shy of where it ought to be for several reasons, so I can't recommend it. The dinosaur is a very popular pull for kids because they are in many ways so alien and threatening, but they are also extinct, and therefore not really a threat! They're safe. But they're very different from mammals, so the idea of using one as a model for bathing and brushing teeth one didn't work in my opinion. Reptile and Dino dentition is very different from ours and their skin is nothing like ours (and we shed in different ways!).

I know you can argue that kids don't care or don't mind, or that this is a minor thing, but I think it's never too early to start educating children in small ways about similarities and differences between us, and that both make for interesting companions and great friends, and I think this was a case where similarities would have been more educational and more accurate. I thought the toothpaste illustrations were charming, but so would kids. If they read this, they're likely to want to try toothpaste painting themselves, which is fine in the right place and at the right time if you can afford to waste a tube of toothpaste, but it's not something you want them thinking about or trying to emulate at bedtime!

Also the tooth brushing aspect of the personal hygiene story while well-intentioned, failed for me because of the way it was presented. It was turned into a race between the boy and the T-Rex as to who could finish first, which is hardly conducive to a good brushing! Squirting water and splashing in the tub is going to earn you a wet floor and eventually, rotting floorboards if you're not careful! That's not to say that bath-time can't be fun and there can be no squirting or splashing, but it felt like one more straw of irresponsibility on the camel's back of good sense and moderation.

The really weird thing about this book was the paragraph-long disclaimer in the back! This ran to the effect that every effort has been made to ensure that the information in the book was accurate and complete, in both text and graphics, but the author and publisher do not warrant it because of the rapidly changing nature of science, research, known and unknown facts and the Internet?! That just sounded weird. I wonder what new information is going to come out that might tell us it's unwise to wash and brush teeth?

Maybe publishers have to put this in because some idiots have tried to sue them over things in the past, but it seemed strange - and slightly depressing - that you can't even put out a kids book without a disclaimer. Oh well. But even that oddity aside, I can't recommend this one.