Official Review: The Magician Cat by Hawk Selah

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Miriam Molina
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Official Review: The Magician Cat by Hawk Selah

Post by Miriam Molina » 02 Oct 2019, 06:32

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Magician Cat" by Hawk Selah.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Author Hawk Selah presents The Magician Cat. The magician cat is known far and wide, and he is in town. He has a surprise final magic trick for the children who are here to see his show. Alas, in the middle of the act, an important prop goes missing! The cat begs the children for help to find it. Will the children help? Will the show go on?

The story is told in only nine pages, four of them full-page pictures. The pictures are vibrant and will catch the eye of the target audience: young children. The other five pages contain twenty rhyming verses.

The verses are generally written in simple language that kids would understand. There are a few words that may be unfamiliar, though, like “marveling,” “trickster,” “steep,” “staggering,” and “abound.” A tutor may need to explain those new words or teach the youngsters to consult a dictionary. While the rhyming would sustain interest, there are forced rhymes that may not be appreciated by children. The final line seems abrupt, too.

The verses, at four to a page, are too crowded. Since every page has a white orb against a dark blue background, the words written on the blue part are hard to decipher. I suggest that only two verses occupy a page, so these can be accommodated inside the white orb.

While the pictures are nicely drawn, I believe there should be more of them. Also, the facial features of the characters have to be worked on to show more realistic emotions. Right now, the cat wears the same expression in three of the four pictures. The illustrator also needs to ensure continuity; in one picture, the cat is shown sans his cape. The cover page may likewise not be appropriate as it depicts a Halloween setting when there is nothing spooky in the book.

While the story has some chase scenes (reminiscent of Sylvester hounding Tweety Bird) to excite the youngster, there is no clear moral lesson. The cat seeks the help of the children, but the promise of payment takes away the good in the deed. This may be another area for the author’s consideration.

I also noted various errors in the verses. These are mostly improper punctuation and inaccurate words. Children’s books ought to have flawless grammar to be effective learning tools.

I give this book 2 out of 4 stars for now. It will entertain kids up to ten years old. School-age kids can read it on their own; the younger ones will enjoy it being read to them by an expressive narrator. Reading the verses aloud would be ideal to take advantage of the rhymes. Nevertheless, the author needs to improve the grammar and illustrations and to inject a moral lesson. Those enhancements will work like magic. While the author is wielding their wand, they may want to give the cat a name.

******
The Magician Cat
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Post by Dentarthurdent » 10 Oct 2019, 06:11

I like how you've phrased your critique regarding the presentation and artwork.
It appears the read has quite a ways to go, what with the grammar, art and moral lesson. I enjoyed reading your review.
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Post by unamilagra » 10 Oct 2019, 15:46

It sounds like this book had potential but missed the mark in execution. Hopefully your suggestions will help the author improve it so kids can enjoy it!

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 10 Oct 2019, 15:49

Dentarthurdent wrote:
10 Oct 2019, 06:11
I like how you've phrased your critique regarding the presentation and artwork.
It appears the read has quite a ways to go, what with the grammar, art and moral lesson. I enjoyed reading your review.
Thank you for your appreciation. I'm a kid at heart. :D

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 10 Oct 2019, 15:52

unamilagra wrote:
10 Oct 2019, 15:46
It sounds like this book had potential but missed the mark in execution. Hopefully your suggestions will help the author improve it so kids can enjoy it!
It's fun now, but it can be so much better. Thanks for your two cents!

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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Oct 2019, 19:33

I agree with you that children's books should be impeccably edited. It sounds like a fun book, but it needs work. I hope the author can use your review to improve his work. Thanks.
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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 11 Oct 2019, 01:45

kandscreeley wrote:
10 Oct 2019, 19:33
I agree with you that children's books should be impeccably edited. It sounds like a fun book, but it needs work. I hope the author can use your review to improve his work. Thanks.
The book somehow reminds me of The Cat in the Hat, IMO the most famous unnamed cat. Meow to all the 🐈 I've loved before!

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Post by Nisha Ward » 12 Oct 2019, 03:04

Aw man. This sounds like such a cute idea, so to have it be bogged down by these flaws is a bummer. I hope the author takes your advice into consideration because it sounds like something children would enjoy otherwise.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 12 Oct 2019, 03:16

Nisha Ward wrote:
12 Oct 2019, 03:04
Aw man. This sounds like such a cute idea, so to have it be bogged down by these flaws is a bummer. I hope the author takes your advice into consideration because it sounds like something children would enjoy otherwise.
Thanks for the sweet words. Hope you are doing much better, too, health-wise and Hemmingway-wise.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 12 Oct 2019, 03:20

Miriam Molina wrote:
12 Oct 2019, 03:16
Nisha Ward wrote:
12 Oct 2019, 03:04
Aw man. This sounds like such a cute idea, so to have it be bogged down by these flaws is a bummer. I hope the author takes your advice into consideration because it sounds like something children would enjoy otherwise.
Thanks for the sweet words. Hope you are doing much better, too, health-wise and Hemmingway-wise.
I am, thank you!
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 12 Oct 2019, 15:31

He's a curious cat of mystery if he doesn't even have a name. I love the Tweety bird reference! I hope the author will take your excellent suggestions for improvement on board.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 12 Oct 2019, 18:16

ButterscotchCherrie wrote:
12 Oct 2019, 15:31
He's a curious cat of mystery if he doesn't even have a name. I love the Tweety bird reference! I hope the author will take your excellent suggestions for improvement on board.
Thanks, Alice! Tweety was a personal favorite. "I tawt I taw a puddy tat!"

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Post by Aniza Butt » 13 Oct 2019, 07:24

Children books are a great tool to teach younger kids important lessons that will help them in future. Books with no moral lesson would be waste of time.
Thanks a lot for the insightful review :tiphat:
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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 13 Oct 2019, 16:04

Aniza Butt wrote:
13 Oct 2019, 07:24
Children books are a great tool to teach younger kids important lessons that will help them in future. Books with no moral lesson would be waste of time.
Thanks a lot for the insightful review :tiphat:
Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

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Post by Nivi Gideon » 14 Oct 2019, 01:11

Totally adorable with the comparison with Tweety and Sylvester,I think I'd give it one read just for that. Thanks for the great review

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