Thursday, June 3, 2010

Review: The Trouble with Goldie

The Trouble With Goldie: Letters to Jelly Belle (Volume 1)Title: The Trouble with Goldie (A Letters to JellyBelle chapter book)
Author: Meg Elias
Genre: Children's chapter book
Publisher: CreateSpace
Physical Description: 70-page paperback
List Price: $5.99
ISBN: 978-1449513498

Getting the mail may not seem like an exciting job, but Jelly Belle looks forward to it every day. Once in a while, she gets a letter that leads her out of reality and into a magical adventure! Join her on her first journey, as she helps an old friend with a trouble-making intruder.

"I crawled up into bed and pulled the sheet up over my head. My flashlight was already there right next to the pillow. I learned how to read before I even went to kindergarten, and every night I fall asleep under the covers with a book propped up on my knees. I’m sure my parents know about this habit of mine, but as long as I stay quiet they don’t bother me about bed times. Okay, page one."
About the Author:

Here's what the author has to say about why she wrote this book:
I started reading chapter books to my daughter, Emma, when she turned 3. We would complete a chapter or two every night before she went to bed. Although she was interested in the stories, I had to learn how to edit the dialogue to fit her needs. She would get upset when the characters were unkind, or called each other names. Emma is also prone to nightmares, so I had to leave out anything remotely scary or we would be up all night.
You can find more about Meg Elias's adventures with her daughter on her blog:  Bare Baby Feet 

What Mom Liked:  This is a fun mix of fantasy and reality!  It takes a familiar, perhaps tired, story of Goldilocks and reinvents it into something kids of all ages will enjoy as they think of what might have been the story behind the story.  The main character, nine-year-old JellyBelle, engages readers in a mystery and problem-solving challenge.  I'd love to take this concept and try it with other traditional stories when Esmé is older:  it teaches that the obvious story (or first impression) usually has many layers behind it and encourages her to look at things through different characters' points of view.

There are also some practical lessons throughout, such as how to be considerate of others, clean up after yourself, and diplomatically problem-solve.

I'd love to check out the rest of the series for Esmé's library!

What Mom Didn't Like:  Not much!  The one thing I would have loved would have been a few illustrations throughout the book.  My daughter is 3, admittedly young for this book.  However, we do read a lot of chapter books, and she especially enjoys them if there are pictures.

As it was, we interrupted the reading of this book regularly to read the actual Goldilocks and the Three Bears story!

Thanks to author Meg Elias for the review copy of this book.