Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Review - Pinky's Fair Day

Pinky's Fair Day
by Valeri Gorbachev
Date: 2019
Publisher: Star Bright Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Whimsical illustrations in bright watercolors are sure to delight readers as they learn about the intrinsic rewards of helping others.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

If this book had actually been about "the intrinsic rewards of helping others", I might've liked it more than I did. As it is, this is simply a book about a narcissistic little pig who only helps others because it benefits him.

Pinky (a pig... and the only character in the book with a name that isn't just a descriptor of his species) finds out from the Hedgehog brothers that they were complimented for being good helpers. He wants someone to tell him he's a good helper, too, so he goes around to his neighbours and tries to help. But each time, he just makes a mess of things, and when he's told he's not a good helper, he just says, "I tried my best." Then he meets up with Cat and Dog, who are obviously bad news. When they try to carjack the puppet wagon, Pinky squeals, and Cat and Dog run away. Then he's told he's a good helper.

I thought maybe there would be more after that, something that would show Pinky that helping just for the sake of helping is a good thing. But what does he do next? He runs off to brag to the Hedgehog brothers that someone called him a good helper.

The illustrations almost remind me of something you'd find in a 1960s picture book. They're passable, but not special. Combined with the unsophisticated story and annoying main character, they're not quite enough to make this book a winner.

This story just seems to teach kids to expect accolades for everything. Never mind kindness or doing something because it needs to be done. Apparently, the only reason to help others is so they'll stroke your ego. I'm sorry, but that's just not the type of message I want to see in children's books.

Thank you to NetGalley and Star Bright Books for providing a digital ARC.

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

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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