Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Squirrels and a jungle mess

The Squirrels of SummerThe Squirrels of Summer by Robert C. Mason

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Obees' Nutty AdventureObees' Nutty Adventure by Robert C. Mason

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Jungle MessThe Jungle Mess by Robert C. Mason

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


All three of these books were really cute little childrens' stories. A couple of people made comments about them on Smashwords where they said they needed to be "dumbed down" or something, but I happen to disagree with dumbing things down for people; children included. This comment may start a debate among those who have - or have worked a lot with - children, but that's just how I feel. I've dealt with children my entire life; by the time I was coming in to my teens I'd already been trusted to babysit for a couple of years. And one thing I've noticed is that children - like adults - like to feel they count, and feel their opinions and feelings are acknowledged and respected. How can you make someone feel they count, and show them you respect their feelings and opinions, if you talk down to them? I mean, sure there are limitations to how "grown up" things can be for children, but I felt like the reviewers were suggesting the author adopt a "this is a squirrel, squirrels are animals, do you know what an animal is?" type of tone, which I think is rather patronizing. Admittedly there is an age bracket in which "this is a squirrel, a squirrel is an animal, do you know what an animal is?" is appropriate, but: 1. These books contain lessons, and I highly doubt a child old enough to grasp the lesson needs to be asked if they know what an animal is. 2. I think explaining that a squirrel is an animal is something a parent should be able to handle while reading the book, and therefore the author has no need to dumb the writing down to point this out. If the child doesn't know what a squirrel is, the child is going to ask. Simple as that! Anyway... Like I said, I thought they were really cute books.


Anonymous said...

great book suggestions and I agree with you completely, don't talk down to children, thats just wrong, have a wonderful day!!!!

Intense Guy said...

Writing a good children's book isn't as easy as a lot of people think - and regardless of what they think, many people including the celebrities that think they can write, they can't.

I love the one title... :)

"Obees' Nutty Adventure" sounds like fun!

That corgi :) said...

I like the title of The Squirrels of Summer; makes me think of the Don Henley song "The Boys of Summer" but it does sound like a cute theme. I think you do have to make sure a child knows certain things before you present a story or concept to them. Interesting what people will pick up as something to debate!


Toriz said...


I forgot to mention; Obee's Nutty Adventure is a squirrel book too; it follows on from "The Squirrels Of Summer" so if you like one, you might like the other. :)

Exactly; some of it needs to be up to the parent to teach them!

Parsley said...

Hope you are doing well this week Tori.

Toriz said...

Thanks; I am today anyway!

AliceKay said...

All three books sound cute. How can you not enjoy reading a book about a squirrel or two? :)

Anonymous said...

I love reading. I agree with you when you say that things shouldn't be dumbed down, at least not as much as what they do for children. It doesn't help people to learn new words.

I am your newest follower!

Have a great day!
Michael Lounsbury

Toriz said...

Indeed! :)

Welcome to my blog! :)

My point exactly!