We don't do stars...
We don't do thumbs...
We read children's books and grade them in 10 categories:
literary quality
descriptive ability
humor (if attempted)
illustrations (if present)
believability of characters
believability of situations
overall reading enjoyment

There is no grading curve. There are no points for classroom participation. There is no extra credit.
If you disagree, come speak to us after class.

The Grading System

A+.....this means (guess what) we think it's great. So great it surprised even us.
A.....this means it's pretty darn good. A book we'd recommend to just about everyone we know.
B.....better than most. Not exactly Shakespeare for kids, though, if you get our drift.
C.....mediocre. Like the color beige, it didn't stand out.
D.....we didn't like it. There were more bad aspects than good ones.
F.....it reeked of badness. We read it over and over when we are in dire need of hysterical laughter.
F-.....We're pretty sure Dante had a circle of hell for the people who wrote these...and a lower circle for those who published them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reporter's Review: The Problem with the Puddles, by Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Tricia Tusa

Simon and Schuster; 2009
Overall Grade: A

The Puddles are a family of oddballs who can't seem to get anything quite right--perhaps because for the past several years, the only thing Mr. and Mrs. Puddle have agreed upon is to disagree. When they leave their country house for their city house and accidentally leave their two dogs (both named Sally) behind, their crazy adventure begins.
Applause to Kate Feiffer for writing this story as she did; she completely ignored a lot of the "rules of writing," which, in my opinion, have practically become cliche because so few people know how to write a book without them. For this reason, The Problem with the Puddles is enjoyable and never predictable, the voice is strong and unique (and without being in first person!), and the humor is wonderful. The plot is rather thin--okay for a middle grade book, but it was annoying in such a clever story that certain plot twists or elements were left vague or unexplained. Nonetheless, even adults will enjoy this story for its lovable, zany characters and cute illustrations (which add to the text remarkably well).

Literary Quality: A-
Plot: B-
Voice: A+
Originality: A
Descriptive Ability: A+
Humor: A
Illustrations: A- Believability of Characters: A
Believability of Situations: B
Overall Reading Enjoyment: A

Possibly objectionable topics*: none

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