Monday, May 18, 2015

Fibles: Children's eBook

Everette, M.R. (2015). Fibles: Children's eBook. 2nd Edition. Mesa, AR: Cookietwist Publishing.

Children's Short Stories / Illustrated / Problem-Solving

I gave this book 3 of 5 stars

Fibles: Children’s eBook gives readers a collection of twelve modern day stories, each having a different young animal as the main character.  The stories present the characters in a wide range of human dilemmas that teach lessons on problem solving and show consequences for choices made.  Every story starts with an illustration of the main characters and their fun and funny names and is followed by two more colorful illustrations as each story moves along, all which make the stories more engaging for readers.  

The strength of these stories is in author M.R. Everette’s clever plays on words, which is one reason that these stories might best be enjoyed in a read-aloud format, with an adult reading to a child.  Otherwise, young readers who don’t yet have a grasp on reading and/or spelling might stumble right through and miss what makes the stories funny. For example, in “The Ewe Wee,” some of the best laughs come from the names of the Ewe family, but Ewe is a difficult word. With Everette’s extended word play, the book could also lend itself to teaching literary devices to kids. For example, in “The Erlee Riser,” literal versus figurative language and double-entendres could be taught with all the bird references in the story (tweeting, hopping online, etc.).   Additionally, Everette uses parallel formatting so that every kind of animal is introduced in the same way: Erlee the bird, Potter the otter, Ellie the elephant.  So, when readers come across an unfamiliar word (pika, guib, eider), the context clues will help them identify a word as an animal (Pikasso the pika, Dwib the guib, Slider the eider) and may pique the reader’s curiosity to learn more.

Though there were a few stories that ended without making a clear point or resolution, the stories in Fibles: Children’s eBook were clever and entertaining, and the illustrations were bright and fun. Where the book needs work is in editing; there are extensive comma use errors, agreement errors, and missing or incorrect punctuation (particularly with plurals and possessives).  A thorough, professional editing would definitely improve the flow, and most importantly, model proper writing to the children reading the book.  As the book stands, I would recommend it only as a read-aloud, so that the writing errors aren’t modeled, and hope that the author will take the necessary steps to take the quality of the writing to the next level.

This book was reviewed for BookPlex, who provided me an ebook copy in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give. 

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