Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Publishers Weekly Reviewed Bingo Explores the Farm!

We are happy to share that Publishers Weekly Select reviewed Bingo Explores the Farm.  A total of 221 titles were entered for review during this period and 52 were chosen for review.  Only three children's picture books made the full review section, so I am happy . . . my book was chosen this quarter for their self published review magazine!  I am so glad we made the cut!

Publisher Weekly Select said, "In this mild, meandering story, the feline star of Bingo's Big Adventure roams the farm in search of adventure. Loquacious narrator Bingo first tries unsuccessfully to start a toy car: "Oh dear, I am not a mechanic. I am only a cat. I do not have hands or tools either. I must admit my adventure is not starting well." When he wanders into an empty barn, Bingo thinks he has stumbled upon his adventure: "It is solving the mystery of who lives in this building!" Back outside, the cat discovers a horse, but "Tall Lady," his "human," warns Bingo that he's too small to play with the animal. Finally, Bingo finds a perfect companion (and an adventure) in "the Boy," who entertains the cat with a stick and gently pets him. The overly wordy narration and slow pacing (eight pages are devoted to Bingo's inability to start the toy car) drag this tale down; King's candid photographs of Bingo and his farm surroundings are the stronger part of the story. A farm q&a and some search-and-find activities are also included. Ages 3–8."

Well what can I say?  I am a talker . . . I can't think in short sentences and I like to use big words!  What else makes kids better readers than introducing them to more words to make them learn.  I am me and "me" means words.  I don't want to make books that are too simple for the smart kids and parents who will be reading them.

Recently, the Tall Lady heard a "big time" publisher say at a conference that all children's picture books should be under 1000 words.  She was shocked!  (My book is about 1300 words by comparison)  Then the speaker then said, "What parent wants to read more than one short book before bedtime to their kids?"   Whoa!  That was blasphemous to the Tall Lady.  Don't the publishers know about reading 20 minutes a day to your kids who are under 5 years of age?  Bed time is the perfect time to give your kids quality reading when they are calming down for the evening.  The Tall Lady reads up to 30 minutes with her kids every day and usually that takes two or three books.  It's a perfect way to end the day and bond and cover new ground with the stories in the books!

Now when PW says "the first eight pages," it really means the first four page couplets.  And in that section, I try to drive my car, I try to fix it, I get help from Jimmy, and I make an important decision NOT to fight or argue with Jimmy.  All of that in four page pairs with huge pictures!  This dragging down stuff I am not sure about.

Even though there was some mild criticism which will always be present in life, I guess my final word is that I am certainly happy, feel grateful, and am thrilled that my 2nd book - Bingo Explores the Farm - made it to the category of books that merited review in PW Select Magazine and for that I thank Publishers Weekly!

Bye for now,