Friday, October 19, 2018

Review - Pillowland

by Laurie Berkner
illustrated by Camille Garoche
Date: 2017
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Laurie Berkner, “the queen of children’s music” (People), pairs the lyrics of her beloved hit with Camille Garoche’s gentle illustrations in this winning bedtime picture book—a must-have for fans of Laurie’s music and all things soft and sweet.

I know a place, a kingdom far away,
where people wear pajamas every night and every day.
Where all the houses, the buildings, and the trees
are made of fluffy pillows that are soft as they can be.

Laurie Berkner’s treasured song “Pillowland” is now a beautiful picture book! Featuring magical, lush art by Camille Garoche, Pillowland carries readers away to a feather-fluffed dream world where bedtime is always a grand adventure.

We’re going to land in Pillowland!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a book based on a song, which makes a straightforward reading a little awkward. When there's poem-like text, I'd like it to flow a little more; since this is a song rather than a poem, it's not entirely in one form (like couplets or quatrains), which makes it a little difficult to read aloud and have it sound right.

The pictures, though, I thought were really cute. They're a combination of photographs and cut-out drawings, which really gives a unique mixed-media look. The characters are cute and diverse, and the whole colour scheme is very relaxing and perfect for bedtime reading.

Sheet music for the song is included at the end of the book, but I think a book like this needs to come with the actual music (either a CD, a digital file, or a link of some sort). I looked up the song on YouTube and found a video of Laurie Berkner singing it, and that really helped me wrap my head around the meter and timing of the words.

Overall, it's a cute book, but it could definitely be improved by adding a way for kids to experience the song while they're looking at the pictures.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.57 out of 5

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