Wednesday, 16 December 2015

A Sallamong's Story - Children's Book Review

I was offered the chance to review a children's book.  I totally jumped at the opportunity!  The only minor issue I had was how long it took to receive this book.  Apparently mail takes a long time to arrive from New Zealand - who knew?

This is the story I read.  I (wrongly) assumed it was short picture book for kids.  Turns out it's more of a "reader" style, which is great because that's right where Emma is in her reading now.

The story consists of 8 small chapters - about 3 pages each.  Of course there are pictures as well.  My 7 year old found it a bit tough to read - she's easily frustrated with a ton of words on a page.

The story is very cute.  A little green Sallamong is starting to grow up.  The struggles he encounters are easily relate-able to real life.  For my kids the subject matter was a little beyond their life experiences right now.  (My kids are 4 and 7.)

I am always a fan of stories that make use of the caterpillar to butterfly life cycle.  I feel that is such a great metaphor for growing and changing and all kids understand that the butterfly is that caterpillar (their core stays the same) only "grown up."

One small criticism I have is that I feel the story could have been broken into two, with the part about the drought expanded upon as a separate storyline.  I like the shed the skin and start to grow up as one story, and family stresses about outside the home influences turned into a second story in the series.  It does all work together as a story of increasing stressors to add to Santos' mental anguish about changes in his little life.

Overall, great story: good imagination, easily relate-able to real life, cute little guy, and nice "reader" format.  I'm going to ask my older daughter to break it into even smaller chunks so we can read it together again as a learning tool.

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