Writing quote

Sure, it's simple writing for kids...Just as simple as raising them.
— Ursula K. LeGuin

Thursday, March 22, 2012


   Letter Beasties is a “monstrous” alphabet book by author/illustrator Ron Noble. Each letter of the alphabet is a beast or creature from familiar folklore. There’s Alien Beastie, Kraken Beastie, Werewolf Beastie, Zombie Beastie. For parents who may be concerned about whether you should be telling tales of werewolves and zombies to your kids at bedtime, don’t worry. The vibrant and whimsical illustrations of beasties in the shapes of the letters they represent are charming and humorous. They brought a few chuckles to my six year old kindergartener. Now, there’s high praise indeed.
   The verses are simple and very readable with two lines per page in a large, font-size (excellent for those of us who left our reading glasses in some netherparts of the house and are too lazy to go get them—we are, after all, tucked snugly in bed for storytime!). The rhyming is fun in a roll-off-the tongue way (“U.F.O. Beastie zips across the sky, Vampire Beastie becomes a bat who can fly.”), when the writing does rhyme. However, it doesn’t always and this can be a little disconcerting to the adult reader (“Igor Beastie works in a mad scientist’s lab, Jackyl Beastie plays fetch on the desert sand”). When the rhyming structure abruptly changes, it trips you up.
   Kids though will be so delighted by the colorful and fanciful beasties, they will barely notice the rhyming. My son proved this by eagerly turning the page to see the next beastie while I was pondering the rhyming structure.
   Another clue that a kid likes a book? They’ll ask to read it again...and again...and again...

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