Monday, May 5, 2014

Guest Post: Writing Children's Book Reviews with Stephanie Burkhart

Writing Reviews For Children's Books
by Stephanie Burkhart

Writing reviews isn't easy. As authors, we all like to get good reviews, but it's important to give reviews, too. I thought I'd talk a little bit about how I try to write reviews for children's books. Next month I'll focus on writing reviews for mainstream novels.

Children's picture books aren't that long, but you have to capture the essence of the story in a dynamic paragraph or two.

My first sentence or two I try to capture the plot of the book without giving it away and I usually end asking if the main character can solve the problem? (That's the hook to get you to read the book – to find out if he/she does.)

Then I talk about the illustrations. Are they eye-catching? Unique? Fit the story?

Other things to mention in the review: Is the title appropriate? Is the author's writing style engaging? Did you understand the main character's challenge? Was the ending satisfactory? Would you recommend this book? What's the age range for the book?

                                                            My son, Joe, reading

Here's my review for The Marshmallow Man:

"The Marshmallow Man" is an entertaining story that will have children flipping the pages to find out what happens next.

An old lady who is lonely creates a marshmallow man to help keep her company. The marshmallow man however, is an adventurous soul and sets out with the refrain, "You can't catch me, I'm the Marshmallow Man."

The story will appeal to preschoolers' and young elementary students' sense of adventure. The Marshmallow Man stimulates a child's imagination. Macquignon's illustrations are sharp, bringing the story's creativity to life. "The Marshmallow Man" is a fine book for any 3-7 year-old's library.

Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. When she's not working at her day job, she's writing and being a Cub Scout mom. She loves chocolate, adores coffee, and enjoys taking walks around Castaic Lake. Her story, "The Giving Meadow" is published with 4RV Publishing. Caterpillar makes his way through the meadow with the help of some friends.

Find her on the web:


NOTE: This post originally appeared March 23, 2014 on 4rvreading-writingnewsletter.blogspot. Reprinted with permission.

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