Monday, February 13, 2012

The Beaver Kid's Adventures {review}

Quite honestly, I wanted to read this book because the suggested retail price is $88, and I had to know why!  This is a children's paperback chapter book, and I wanted to see what would justify that price.

The Beaver Kid's Adventure by Elana Dobrina is about a young beaver who ends up on an adventure, encounters danger and makes new friends along the way.  The intended audience is that of young children who love nature and care for animals.

I have mixed feelings on this book.  I absolutely love that the author pays great attention to the details of a beaver's life and habits, and the ecosystem in which it lives.  She does not shy away from using "big" words just because it is a children's book.  Throughout the book you will see words such as inhabitants, colonized, succulent, amateur, inclement and imperceptibly.  She certainly does not water down her subject matter by using generic terms like plants and trees.  She describes them in detail and uses great terminology like fauna, conifers, deciduous and much more to introduce children to nature.  There is even a small glossary in the back that describes some of the tress and animals in the story.  The author talks in a very conversational tone "You already know..." and with the tone, vocabulary and fantastic factual elements tied into the story, I would consider this book pretty close to a living book.

However, I think in her desire to include all of the fantastic details that she does, something in the writing itself is missing.  Sentences seem to run on occasionally, and sometimes it would only take a comma to make a sentence more accessible.  I often found myself wondering why she started so many sentences with the word "and" and at one time, three sentences in a row started with the word "in."  Flashbacks to elementary English and red editing popped into my mind.

The illustrations are sweet, and depict a scene in each chapter.  The chapters are short enough for bedtime readings, and although I have not read the book aloud to my five year old yet (we are in the middle of another chapter book), I think he will really like it.  He loves animals and adventure, and the story itself is very cute.

I did not see a suggested age range, but I think 5+ would enjoy it if they are used to vivid language in their readings.

One last thing.  I couldn't find justification for the price.  I rarely buy books at retail price, and I would (excuse my 5 year old's language here) never, ever, ever, ever, ever pay $88 for a children's book.  NEVER!  This one is no exception.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Dorrance Publishing solely for the purpose of writing an honest review.  

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