Saturday, November 7, 2020

Review - Mad About Plaid

Mad About Plaid

by Jill McElmurry
Date: 2000
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Madison Pratt is delighted to find a lonely plaid purse in the park one afternoon. Then the purse's mad curse causes Madison--and her whole neighborhood--to turn plaid! Will Madison's spunk and optimism help to reverse the curse before it's too late? Filled with vivid colors and rich textures that enhance the story's humor, Jill McElmurry's first picture book is just as bright and creative as her irresistible heroine.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book does not work in the COVID era. I'm sorry, but I can't look favourably on any book that shows adults treating their children like dirty, disease-carrying lepers, covering them in plastic and sowing the seeds for OCD. The premise might have been funny once... but it definitely isn't now.

Aside from that, I couldn't stand the text. It switches between prose and quasi-poetry, with some parts rhyming and some not. It's highly distracting; just when I'd get into a poetic rhythm, the narration would switch back to straight prose again.

The story is silly. A little girl finds a plaid purse in the park. It's cursed (or something) because the plaid pattern spreads onto the little girl, and then eventually infects the whole town. When the girl turns the purse inside out to show its blue lining, the blue spreads in the same way as the plaid. So the girl has to sing a silly song to chase away the blues.

The illustrations are okay, but the text grated on my last nerve. The potential anxiety that the quarantining of a "sick" child might cause was the last straw. It might have worked in 2000 when it was first published, but it doesn't work now.

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

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2.14 out of 5

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