Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Review - This Is a Ball

This Is a Ball (Books That Drive Kids CRAZY! #1)
by Beck & Matt Stanton
Date: 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

For the giggling masses who love HervĂ© Tullet’s Press Here, BJ Novak’s The Book With No Pictures, and Bill Cotter’s Don’t Push the Button comes an interactive new series!

The Books That Drive Kids CRAZY! series offers parents, teachers, and storytellers a hilarious script for fun reading time together. Book 2, This Is a Ball, is a boldly absurd spin-off of concept books, and an audaciously contrarian invitation for readers to practice deadpan delivery: after all, the picture on the cover clearly shows a cube, not a ball. The page that declares a princess is flying a kite at the beach shows an alien holding a balloon in a city…and on and on. What is WRONG with this silly book? Kids will demand to know–and all readers will be howling with laughter all along the way. With strikingly simple text and art, Books That Drive Kids CRAZY! are ideal picks for emergent readers.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Our library has a whole bunch of books from this series, and I was intrigued enough to pick up the first couple (Goodreads lists this as Book 1; I'm not sure why the synopsis says otherwise).

It's goofy and silly, but it's going to have a fairly limited audience. For the premise to work as intended, the child needs to be either fairly precocious or a bit older. They need to have a good grasp of the English language, or it could cause confusion. They can't be colourblind. Some autistic kids (or any kids who take things really literally) are probably going to have a tough time with this one, and it may end up being more frustrating than entertaining. For the full effect, I think kids need to be able to get the joke.

Reading it as an adult, I enjoyed it somewhat. I think I probably would've thought it was funny when I was a little kid. Whether this is a hit or a miss is going to depend largely upon the audience. I guess parents won't really know if it'll work with their kids unless they give it a try.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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