Saturday, February 9, 2019

Review - Untitled

by Timothy Young
Date: 2019
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

A coatimundi and a capybara (or is it a porcupine?) take the lead in this silly story with a twist ending. Tim Young lets his characters tell the story with scenes readers will likely recognize and brainstorming ideas for Tim's next book. Will we see these characters again? When he first thought up this book he immediately had a title: "Another Stupid Book By Timothy Young." But, when someone thought it was a sequel, he didn't want to use it. After thinking of a bunch of other titles that didn't quite capture the correct feeling, he started calling it "Untitled." The more he thought about it the more that title seemed perfect for this strange tale.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book doesn't have much of a story. It's just a couple of characters talking about being in a story, and sort of ragging on their author/illustrator. The self-referential thing can work if it's done well, but I don't think this book really accomplished that.

My favourite part was probably when the two characters were looking at their bookshelf. There were lots of familiar titles, but with coatimundi or capybara characters standing in for the original ones. That was kind of cute, but it might not be appreciated by all kids (especially if they haven't read the books in question). Actually, much of the humour in this book doesn't seem like it's for kids at all. For jokes that reference other works, you really need to have read those other works to "get it". That's more likely the older you are.

For a better book in a similar vein, I'd recommend Ryan T. Higgins's Be Quiet! The story is a little more suitable for kids, and the illustrations are nicer.

I'm afraid I have to agree with Ignatz when he said, "Mostly I'm just bored..."

Thank you to NetGalley and Schiffer Publishing for providing a digital ARC.

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

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2.17 out of 5

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