15 June 2006

Early reader turns precocious reviewer

CNN's website offers the opinions of guest reviewer Andrew Oglesby on five recent picture books. Andrew is six. Something tells me school has been out in Atlanta long enough for Andrew's mother to be eager to find something for him to do.

Here are short selections from each of Andrew's reviews, showing what he looks for in a picture book, at least until he turns seven:

"I really like the part where the grape smells his armpits."

"This is an outstanding book. The author who made this was wise."

"I liked three of the poems. . . . I liked those because they were short."

"The best part is how the rooster followed him and how he said 'How boring!' I just think that's funny. I don't know the reason, but I just think it's funny."

"This book is amazing because the funny part is the poop, poop, poop."
Overall, Andrew's opinions put me in mind of something I heard at a conference from reading specialist Tony Stead. The teachers he'd polled thought the most important ingredient in a picture book was a valuable lesson about life. The kids thought the most important ingredient was humor. Their sort of humor.

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