Monday, November 29, 2021

Review - My Key

My Key

by Amal
Date: 2021
Publisher: Clavis
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

When two ordinary objects land on a city sidewalk, a little girl's dull day becomes an odyssey of new places and unusual faces. Led far away on a dragon boat, she makes use of her found objects to get past the locked library doors, where erudite elephants open her eyes to the beauty of books and faraway lands. Faced with fantastic animals and discoveries, has she found the secret to make dull days a thing of the past?

A magical book that celebrates libraries and the power of imagination. For brave explorers ages 5 years and up.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I think something may have gotten lost in translation.

The illustrations are the strongest part of this, although I had a tough time making them all out on my computer screen. (This is definitely not a good book to attempt reading on an e-reader or tablet!) The text started out confusing, and didn't get much better as time went on. The story starts like this:

I asked politely, "Please can we go to the movies, Timbuktu, a little kasbah in a big city? You know, one of those old Moroccan fortresses. Please?"

The story then goes into libraries and imagination, and I have no idea what any of that has to do with the movies or that grammatically strange sentence that appears to be talking to someone named Timbuktu.

I understand that this is about imagination, but I really don't like the narrative. The wording seems clunky and disjointed.

I don't think I'd recommend this one. The pictures are okay, but there are better books out there that celebrate libraries and imagination without devolving into such weirdness.

Thank you to NetGalley and Clavis for providing a digital ARC.

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

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.17 out of 5

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