[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Once There Was a River Stone" by Kamon.]
"Once There Was a River Stone" by Kamon is an illustrated children’s Book.
The story is about a happy little river stone’s life that gets turned upside down when it is plucked out of its river by People (author’s words). The stone then learns how hard life is outside of its comfort zone. The People are not very nice, the river stone is in a very uncomfortable position, literally and figuratively, and the river stone wants out of its new life. Eventually the river stone perseveres, finds new friends, finds a purpose in its new life and becomes content again.
The author says that the story teaches mindfulness of a better world (also the author’s words). I guess I see how this story teaches it. You should not step on other people. You should be nice to people who are new, (actually, you should be nice to everyone. Period.) you should not take things that are not yours. I might be reading between the lines too much, because I found it a bit unclear.
A good children’s story is hard to write; every word counts. You must convey the atmosphere and evoke emotions while advancing the plot in as few possible words. The book has a few grammatical mistakes; if this was a children’s novel, it would be less of a problem. Every mistake drew me out of the story. The spelling of People was inconsistent. Sometimes the book had capitalized the word, and sometimes it did not. It threw me off. I almost wish the author called “People” (humans) something else to avoid this problem. Some sentences needed semi-colons because they were independent clauses or they could have been separated into two sentences. Again, this stopped me from enjoying the book. There was also a spelling error that should not have been missed by a spell checker. There were also problems with the illustrations in the book.
The main problem with the picture book was that it was all in black and white. I was not sure about this. Was this supposed to be a colouring book? If not, then why did the book have no colour? The pictures were done on a computer, and they could be easily filled in by a paint function, although I think using a real life painter would be nicer. It does not deter from the book too much, but for the price of the Kindle edition, the author should think about giving the book some colour.
There were also a few pictures in the book that came before the writing in the story. I was confused when I flipped the page. The pictures in the book, for the most part, came after the action was described in writing, but these pictures threw off my enjoyment from the reading.
Do not get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of the book. If you are looking for a children’s writer, Kamon has several good books. This book, however, needs some revision before anyone will really enjoy it. Thankfully, children’s books have fewer words than novels. I hope the author takes some advice and goes back to the drawing table. Editing the book and sprucing it up may be able to give a boost in profits. For parents, I would say this is a good book to discuss with your kids, but wait until there is a new edition. Kamon, please revise your story. I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars
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