Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review - Claudette's Miraculous Motown Adventure

Claudette's Miraculous Motown Adventure
by A. K. Morris & Claudette Robinson
illustrated by Pamela C. Rice
Date: 2019
Publisher: Heavenly Enterprises Midwest
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 42
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Little Claudette lives in the magic kingdom of Motown, where all the happy children sing and dance in the streets. Then one day, an angry witch casts a spell, and the kingdom descends into dark silence. Unhappy and bored, Claudette finds a box of Miracles in her attic. Inside are four little fellows—Smokey, Bobby, Ronnie, and Pete—who sing music so sweet. Claudette and the Miracles begin to sing together, but will it be enough to bring light and laughter back to the kingdom of Motown?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I was expecting a little more reality from this one, given that it appears to be inspired by The Miracles (the Motown singing group). What could've been an interesting biographical picture book is instead a strange fantasy involving a witch and a box full of tiny singing men. It's odd, to say the least.

I probably learned more from the non-fiction information at the back of the book. And I enjoyed that part more, too. The story itself is told in rhyme... and not very good rhyme at that. I would've expected more from a book about music and singers! The illustrations are not my cup of tea, either. They have the look of collage, but I think the pictures are done digitally. Digital "rough edges" are not very attractive, and the book has a strange "beginner's Photoshop class" vibe to it.

It's too bad that the authors didn't choose to go in a more non-fiction direction with this. I've read lots of picture books that simply tell the real story of what happened. No witches are necessary. And some of those books are absolutely wonderful, sharing the magic of other people's lives by showcasing passion, hard work, and determination. So, unfortunately, I can't recommend this one. It's not strong enough as a fantasy picture book, and it doesn't include enough reality for it to be a decent biography.

Thank you to NetGalley and Heavenly Enterprises Midwest for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 1/5
Meter: 2/5
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1.71 out of 5

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