[This is post number 500 on this blog!]
Felicity the Dragon, by Ruthie Briggs- Greenberg, is a fantasy picture book sent to me to review by the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. It has a nice message about being yourself and helping others even if you are "different," but the forced rhyming and unremarkable amateurish illustrations make it mediocre at best. I'll be adding it to my university's curriculum collection, but only because I didn't have to buy it.
Newbery Medalist, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, by Kate DiCamillo for my university library's collection, and this one falls into the "unfinished" category. I'm not really surprised, because I HATED DiCamillo's other Newbery Medalist (in 2004), The Tales of Despereaux.
Although I LOVED actress Tara Sands' reading of The Language of Flowers, her voice really started to grate on me with this audiobook. So much so, combined with the annoying characters and ridiculous plot, that with the last sentence of chapter 43 (on page 144 of the hardbound print copy), when the main character, ten year old Flora, describes her mother's romance writing to her pet squirrel Ulysses as "sickly sweet nonsense" and realizes "yes, it was treacle," I realized I was tired of this treacle too, and gave up on the book.
I suppose that the silliness of this book will appeal to young readers, but I cringe to think that this was considered "the most distinguished American children's book published" in 2013. The print copy of the book has a number of whimsical pencil illustrations by K. G. Campbell, and I suppose those add to the book's appeal for most children. Some of the illustrations are in comic book format, and the audiobook narration adds superhero music and a description of what is occurring in those sparsely-texted panels that would be helpful for struggling readers. The book is written at about a fourth-grade reading level.
© Amanda Pape - 2015
[I received a hardbound copy of Felicity the Dragon through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program in exchange for a review. It will be donated to my university library, which is also where I borrowed and returned both a print and audiobook copy of Flora & Ulysses.]