There’s a Dog on the Dining Room Table by Elizabeth Maginnis and Illustration by Annie Dwyer Internicola
Apart from the usual genres of Contemporary / Historical and SFF, Picture Books interest me. The reason is that they tell importance of little things, at times in a creative, but understandable manner.
This is my first picture book that I downloaded from Netgalley. This is the first time, I am looking at the picture book on my mobile screen ! And something just doesn’t seem right. I have read the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” in ebook format, and that looked pretty good, much better than the paperback edition.
If all picture books look like this, the way this one, in the kindle format of Netgalley, then picture books are simply not for ebook format.
Now, coming to the content and illustration.
First let me deal with illustrations. They are good, but very simple. The kind of picture book illustrations that I have seen like “Not Quite Narwhal” by Jessie Sima, who is both an author and illustrator, the illustrations in “There’s a Dog…” simply pales out.
Secondly, to the text part. I can only say that the author has tried to attempt writing a picture book, but has gone wrong somewhere.
I can understand the concept that the kid in the book is bewildered when it sees a dog on the dining table. I can also imagine someone reading this out to a kid, may be a three years old, and trying to get his / her response to the unmentioned question “how that dog came up on the dining table?”, and thereby trying to elicit creative response.
But, and this is a ‘big’ but, would any kid respond that the dog is there to “play card games like poker or whist”? Unless, such kid lives in a house where the elders are deep into these games… This makes me think that not much thought has been put in writing the text. The attempt at rhyme is crude. Using the word “whist” to rhyme with “lists”, and matching “sort” with “fort” does not make one comfortable.
In my view, some more thought should have been put on the content. This one looks as if rushed through, without giving much thought. The idea is good, but the execution falls much short of expectation.
Copyright © Anup Mukherjee, indiapoint.net
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