Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Early Readers – A Cloudy Day in Sunny Patch

A Cloudy Day in Sunny Patch by David Kirk 2005

As I mentioned last week I found many of the books I selected to read were in the dud category. Normally, I try not to mention the books I didn’t care for or at most I include them in a wrap up with a brief note. However, this particular book made me think ick in the worse possible way, and I wanted to express it for some strange reason. So, let’s first start with that yes my family is probably one of the very few that does not have cable television. And, yes I do admit to not having had cable in my home, ever. So, with that information in mind you may understand better why I have said the following about Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends. Oh, and when I read the book I didn’t realize until I finished and looked at the back cover that it was based on a television show.

The story and its text is one that is supposed to fit into the basic and general guidelines for an Early Reader book. At least that appears to be the publisher’s goal and it was listed as a level 2 reader. However, the text is somewhat jumpy and I would say is barely recognizable as an Early Reader. The first problem that I had with this book is it assumes you know all the characters already. Then it jumps into what is probably a scene from one of the television shows. After not being able to follow the story the first or second time through I figured it must be something you need to already know about to get. For instances, is a hatchday party the same as a birthday party? And, what kind of creature is Shimmer, a fly, bee, what? I did get that the party was almost a washout because of the rain, but everyone made the best of it and had a good time anyway. From the artwork I couldn’t make heads or tails of who is what other than Miss Spider, who I figured out from the name. Okay, so let’s say I had watched the Nick, Jr. program and did understand a bit more about these characters, the story is simple and would be easier to follow. If this is a retelling of a particular episode, maybe the reader would enjoy it, but they would probably prefer to watch the show.

So, maybe I am off the beaten path of what some kids would like, and it is good to have some of us there, but this book I would definitely rate as Shelve It.


Blogger Lost A Sock said...

You know, I find that to be true with so many of the books that come from television shows or movies. When KJ was two he absolutely loved everything Nemo, so we bought him the Nemo sounds book (which of course is not only more expensive than most children's books, but is also shrink wrapped so you cannot pre-read it in the store) and the writing is just awful. We used to make up the story ourselves. The same goes for any type of Hot Wheels and many of the Thomas the Tank books.

I think that overall tv to book is a good idea - to grab the interest of kids who watch so much tv. On the other hand, you would think they could produce better writing to actually *enourage* literacy.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous daddy d said...

It sounds like they tried to get off on the cheap side to me. Nothing here at all except the try to make a dollar without doing anything. That is good for them, but not for little kids or their parents.

5:56 PM  

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