Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Review - Maggie's Chopsticks

Maggie's Chopsticks
by Alan Woo
illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
Date: 2012
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Poor Maggie struggles to master her chopsticks — it seems nearly everyone around the dinner table has something to say about the “right” way to hold them! But when Father reminds her not to worry about everyone else, Maggie finally gets a grip on an important lesson.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I didn't like this one. The illustrations are probably the best part of it. The story... Well, I don't like the way it was written, for one thing. It's done as free verse (not rhyming) so each line has the first letter capitalized. I don't know if this style of writing is really going to appeal to kids. (It gets quite flowery in places, too, but if this is aimed at children who are just learning how to use utensils, the language might be a bit beyond them.)

And I hated most of the characters. Maggie's family is just so mean! Give the poor kid a break. She's doing her best. It rings kind of hollow at the end when her father tells her not to worry about what other people think... because everyone from her mother and grandmother to her siblings has been getting on her case about using her chopsticks "wrong"! Talk about a contradictory message.

Kids might like looking at the illustrations in this one, but the text is kind of sad and confusing.

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

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2 out of 5

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