Sunday, April 19, 2020

Review - A Thousand No's

A Thousand No's
by DJ Corchin
illustrated by Dan Dougherty
Date: 2016
Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS Kids
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley


Creating something new isn’t easy.

She has a great idea! NO after NO after NO come her way twisting, squishing, and transforming it. By persevering, collaborating, and using a little bit of imagination, the NO’s become building blocks to something better! Even the best ideas are said NO to. In fact, that’s how they become the best ideas!

A Thousand NO’s is a story about perseverance and innovation that illustrates what can happen if we don’t let our expectations of what something should be, get in the way of what it could be.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I don't even know how to rate this. Is the message great? Yes. Are the illustrations engaging and adorable? Yes. So what's the problem? If you're a grammar nerd like me, you probably spotted it right away... and you wouldn't even have had to read the book.

I'm talking about the title. Actually, I'm talking about that one word in the title, the word that's repeated throughout the book. The word that's the centrepiece of the entire book. In the singular, it's fine. But I simply cannot believe that, in the age of the Internet when a grammar/spelling/punctuation lookup is just a few keystrokes away, this book thought it could get away with using an apostrophe to indicate a possessive. Yes, I get that "nos" looks weird. But the word "no" is capitalized throughout, so I really don't see why the author couldn't have written "NOs" when he was talking about more than one. To make matters worse, this book was originally published in 2016... so this 40-page grammar annoyance has been out for 4 years already.

This just irks me. The story is kind of cute. A little girl has an idea. But then she gets a NO. Then another... and another. Soon, all those NOs are altering the shape of her idea. She calls in friends to help. Eventually, her idea is transformed, but not in spite of the NOs; it's transformed because of them. The illustrations are sweet and show a nice amount of diversity, especially when the girl's friends get involved. They're black and white in the beginning, but slowly start to accumulate some colour as the idea progresses. I thought that was a nice touch.

As it is, I can't recommend this. There are already too many people who throw apostrophes around willy-nilly. Without this repeating error, I probably would've given this around 4 stars. With it, though, I can't really go any higher than 3.

Thank you to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Kids for providing a digital ARC.

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

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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