Friday, September 7, 2018

Review - One Love

One Love
by Bob Marley & Cedella Marley
illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Date: 2011
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Adapted from one of Bob Marley's most beloved songs, One Love brings the joyful spirit and unforgettable lyrics of his music to life for a new generation. Readers will delight in dancing to the beat and feeling the positive groove of change when one girl enlists her community to help transform her neighborhood for the better. Adapted by Cedella Marley, Bob Marley's first child, and gorgeously illustrated by Vanessa Newton, this heartwarming picture book offers an upbeat testament to the amazing things that can happen when we all get together with one love in our hearts.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this one, but I didn't really get it, in any case. Drawn in by the beautiful cover illustration, I went into this thinking that it would basically be the lyrics of Bob Marley's song with accompanying pictures. It was, but... there was just something missing.

I read the synopsis after I read the book, and I realized I totally missed the part about the girl enlisting her community to transform her neighbourhood for the better. I didn't really get that from the pictures. There were a lot of people just standing around or hugging or simply looking happy. When I went back and looked again, okay, there are a couple of kids throwing away trash and some adults gardening, but those things are kind of lost among the illustrations of people sitting around playing music or joining hands and staring at clouds. I mean, it's cute, but it takes a lot more hard work to fix up a vacant lot than this book would imply!

The illustrations are okay. The cutest one is probably on the cover. The rest were a little over the top. Everyone's so darn happy that one might wonder if they've all been sampling the Kool-Aid; put that many smiles in one place, and everyone starts to look a little deranged.

I just have to mention the formatting. It could be the result of the conversion to e-book format, but the end result was a book that looked like it hadn't been edited at all. There were capital letters in odd places, missing apostrophes for possessives... Also, the formatting left most of the pages as small rectangles in the corner of my screen, which was not very appealing to look at.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed. While the idea behind this was a good one, the execution fell a bit short.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.71 out of 5

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