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Litchfield MN 55355


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Friday, March 8, 2019

Guess the Book Title by the Bad Review!

By Jan Pease

This week, I’m borrowing an idea from Travis Jonker, who writes for School Library Journal and is an elementary librarian at a school in Michigan.

He has a recurring game where he posts a negative review from or and asks if readers can identify the 
well-known children’s book from the single review.  I did some digging at and came up with a few.

1.      “A horrible book on every level.”  “It's about a mom who sings a sweet lullaby to her son when he is a baby which is lovely but then she sneaks into his room to do it as a teenager and then sneaks into his home when he is a full grown adult. She is like a stalker.”  

2.      “The _________ books are a perfect example of how appallingly bad writing can make a mediocre story much worse - even painful to read.”

3.      “This book will destroy your child’s character.” “Bad language, main character is a monster, do not buy!”  

4.      “This was an awful book. It would only teach children to make fun of handicapped people and to call names.”

Well, how did you do?

The first book is “Love You Forever,” by Robert Munsch.  This 
beloved book was written in memory of his stillborn babies.  Yes, it is difficult to stop the tears from flowing, but it’s a lovely tribute to the power of love from parent to child.

Review number 2 is about a boxed set of “The Magic Treehouse” books by Mary Pope Osborne.  Ms. Osborne has written 55 books in this series, plus additional nonfiction books inspired by the excellent research she and her staff do for each book.

Review number 3 is about a boxed set of “Junie B. Jones,” by Barbara Park.  This is a series of 28 books that are still very popular, even though the version for younger readers ended in 2013.

Review number 4 is about “The Wonky Donkey,” by Craig Smith, a songwriter and author from New Zealand.   “Wonky Donkey” is a guilty pleasure for me.  I love to read it with a fake Scottish accent, like the hysterical grandmother in the YouTube video.   Does it pass the “Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary” test?   Probably not.  But it’s fun to read!

My point in all of this is: don’t judge a book by its review or its cover.  Each of these books also received five-star reviews, but if you read the negative review first, you would miss a wonderful story. 

These books, and more, are waiting for you at Litchfield Library.  See you soon!