Recently, two books in my library pile turned out to be children’s books I couldn’t recommend. When I examined why, I realized that now that I have read so many children’s books, I can tell a fake when I see it. One book, Kenneth and the Dragon, astounded me. It is pure and simply a not-disguised retell of The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame. Why would anyone want to retell such a beautifully written book? It’s astounding to me that a publisher would even accept the book. It also of course reminded me that I have yet to review The Reluctant Dragon, which I will remedy right away.
The other book, The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, could almost have passed, in the opening scenes, for a rewrite of my favorite series by Tamara Pierce, Circle of Magic. However, in addition to taking on something that Ms Pierce did beautifully, this book is also over the top. It’s sort of like a Bollywood version of Circle of Magic. Nothing wrong with that, but, if I have to choose one book to represent a theme, I’ll stay with Circle of Magic.
Which leads me to the point, I guess. After a while, there really isn’t much “new under the sun.” So it seems that to review more and more children’s books, the book must have something that really makes it so unique, that the repetition of a theme doesn’t matter. In any case, these two books didn’t pass muster.