I had a realization yesterday. Not during the writing of that post. But several hours later. See. Already something good has come from this! (The first task for the Blog Improvement Project.)
I love reading board books, picture books, chapter books.
But I don't *love* writing reviews.
I think that picture books are so very subjective.
You can love the text, but hate the pictures.
You can love the pictures, but hate the text.
You can love both the pictures and the text.
You can hate both the pictures and the text.
In addition to the love/hate options...you've got so many other responses:
best book ever,
who is this for?,
why was it published?
What one person loves, another person will see as a waste of paper altogether. Trying to find words to justify why you feel the way you do about a book--loved it, hated it, whatever--can be difficult in some cases. It's more of an instinct. You either have a taste for something, or you don't. If we happen to have similar tastes in books, then you might find we agree and that you can "trust" my thoughts on these books.
While I feel comfortable talking about the text of picture books--quality, style, rhyming and rhythm or lack thereof, I feel completely intimidated when it comes to talking art and illustrations. I just know "I like it." "I love it." "So pretty!" "Look at the details!" Those being if my response is positive. Some books I hate the art. But I won't go there.
On top of all that, as if that wasn't enough, there is the undeniable fact that adults read picture books differently from kids. Sometimes adults love a book kids just hate. And sometimes kids love a picture book that adults hate. So while mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, could just think a book was divine, the kid involved could think it was seriously-bad.
So I'm considering changing up some of my policies. It has always been my policy that I review every book I read. But I don't think I can do that for this blog. Not anymore.
a) only post reviews of books I really love and enjoy
b) only post reviews of books that I have something to say good or bad (but not post about the ones where I had a "so what?" "who cares?" "why was this published again?" "what's up with this?" response)
c) post mini-reviews of books I read but don't have that much to say enough to justify their own posts. Like having one post about multiple books I've read, but only a few sentences (extremely short) "reviews."
d) combination a and c.
If feeling obligated to write a post on every book I read is making me feel burned-out and sluggish. Then I've got to do what I can do to make this work for me.
I may also try to come up with some general questions to ask about every book or some standard or format to get me started thinking (and writing) for when I'm stumped.
© Becky Laney of Young Readers