Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Children of All Ages...

Welcome to the Circus!

 by George W. Everett

Nearly everyone loves the circus and my initial reaction upon a first glance at this book was that everyone will love the book. Written for children between the ages of 4 and 8, it is an excellent story with several clearly defined lessons.

G.W. Frog and the Circus Lion begins with the sound of construction echoing through the confines of Frog Holler and Misty Meadow.  At first I thought it was going to be another environmental story about how man is tearing up the forests and countryside for his own selfish motives. However, I was happy to be proven wrong and discovered that it is a story about the circus coming to town. Larry the Lion is distraught because he can no longer perform due to the fact that he has no teeth; thus, he is not frightening enough to be a part of the circus parade. The story is about how the animals work together to find a solution to Larry's dilemma.

There is a page where the children can count to see how many critters are on the page. The last page of the book tells the moral of the story and includes a scripture that coincides with it. All of this is excellent and pleasing for small children. I feel they will enjoy the story and it opens the door for several age-appropriate discussions.

As I flipped through the pages, the colorful and extremely well-done illustrations immediately captivated me. I  quickly scanned the story and, while somewhat trite to an adult, I feel it will appeal to young children.

However, I was dismayed by several factors that I noticed when I read the text in a more comprehensive manner. The book is filled with misspelled words, incorrect word forms, grammatical and punctuation errors, and also contains vocabulary that is too advanced for the targeted age group. It was very disappointing to me to find these errors. I would think, from what I hear from published writers, that errors of this nature would be noticed and corrected long before the book was ever released for the retail market.

I had plans to read this book to kindergarten and first grade students at school. I planned to give a copy to my grandsons. However, I reluctantly concluded that, simply due to poor editing, I cannot feel comfortable in sharing this otherwise delightful book with others. Will I read it to the children? Perhaps. Will I purchase this book for others? Sadly, no. Can I recommend it to you? Again, no. This is sad because the book has so much potential. A little editing could have made this an excellent book for young children. Too bad someone didn't do their job a little more thoroughly.

I received this book from the author for review purposes. I was not obligated to give a favorable review and all opinions are my own. I received no compensation for this review.

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