Official Review: Looice in the Stargarden by Ben Goldstein

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kandscreeley
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Official Review: Looice in the Stargarden by Ben Goldstein

Post by kandscreeley »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Looice in the Stargarden" by Ben Goldstein.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Santa Claus has lost his toys for all the good boys and girls of the world. Looice decides that he'll help Santa out by making a few presents. Along the way, he comes up with a few surprises. Find out if Santa ends up with enough presents for all the children of the world in Looice in the Stargarden.

The words of this book first appeared in a play written by the author and illustrator, Ben Goldstein. As such, you can find the song on Amazon and iTunes for sale. I previewed it, and it is catchy. It would be fun to have children listen to the song while looking at the words, especially because the vocabulary is challenging as I will discuss later. Therefore, it would be more convenient if the author sold the book and song together as one package.

The story follows the adventures of Looice from the third-person perspective. We are told before the book begins that the name is pronounced Lewis, for which I'm grateful as I wasn't sure. The author never specifies the age group of the target audience; however, I would guess it to be elementary-age children from the picture to word ratio.

Speaking of which, the illustrations appear to be hand-drawn. Though most of them are dark, taking place among the stars, they are colorful and engaging. My favorite was a picture of Looice giving jellybeans to astronauts. The one downside to the drawings was that the figures in them (e.g. Looice and Santa Claus) were small. Perhaps the author was trying to demonstrate the vastness of space.

Most of the pages in the book have words on one side with the drawings on the opposite side. In a few, the picture took up the entire two pages with words in a box within. The font consists of different colors, which further engages kids. All of this helps to keep the story from being boring, which is helpful when dealing with children with short attention spans.

While I must commend the author on an exceptionally well-edited book, the vocabulary is extremely troubling for the apparent age of the intended audience. Here I quote one of the more difficult passages in the story. "He took chromium, beryllium, onyx, aluminum, rubies, sapphires, garbage, spare tires, beams of light from satellites." The sentence is fun to say aloud, but Mr. Goldstein misses a teachable moment. He could have helped children understand better what these are and how to say them.

This brings up another great issue. There's not really any purpose for the book. There's no real lesson taught (at least nothing overt). Children aren't more educated after reading the story. However, this isn't necessarily negative. I'm of the opinion that kids should be able to read and enjoy a story simply for the sake of reading. This book is fun, and I believe many would like it.

As an amusing and entertaining story, I rate Looice in the Stargarden by Ben Goldstein 3 out of 4 stars. I've taken away a star because some of the words are too advanced for what appears to be the correct audience. I recommend the book for elementary age children looking for a unique story. I am interested to see what other adventures Looice goes on in future books.

******
Looice in the Stargarden
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Post by Silpi B »

This is such an interesting review. The very prospect of Santa losing all his toys for the good girls and boys and Looice deciding to help him makes a wonderful backdrop for the story. Even though I am not of the targeted audience age group, I would love to read this book.

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Post by Saint Bruno »

I can relate with the reason you took a star off this book's rating. I think authors should pay more attention to how appropriate their materials are for their target audience. Thanks for this awesome review and recommendation.

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Post by anua24060 »

This book sounds really fun and the layout sounds beautiful. I bet children will love to read this book with its beautiful illustrations and colorful fonts. Great and detailed review!

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Post by Luluwa79 »

From my perspective, i thinks stories are written to pass some messages or lessons to be learnt by the audience.
I wouldn't want to read a novel that i won't learn from, but the book seems interesting.
Thanks for the insightful review.
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Post by Faithy_Star »

I'm of the view that illustrations should be present in books for children as they have a way of keeping them interested in such books. Nice review!

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Post by Slater678 »

Quite an interesting book given that it describes events relating to one of my favorite season. Thanks for the enjoyable review.

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Post by nyrindra »

For me personally, it is necessary to read a book like this, especially for children, but it is also important for adults, because the message conveyed is brought to life. the criticism is pleasant.

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Post by Ellylion »

Sorry to learn that the author uses words that young kids could not understand. But I'm glad that the story is still engaging and the illustration are so good :) Thanks for a great review!

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Post by kandscreeley »

ephemeral_happiness wrote:
15 Nov 2020, 00:29
This is such an interesting review. The very prospect of Santa losing all his toys for the good girls and boys and Looice deciding to help him makes a wonderful backdrop for the story. Even though I am not of the targeted audience age group, I would love to read this book.
You should. It's very interesting. I do recommend the song as well. Thanks!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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kandscreeley
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Post by kandscreeley »

Saint Bruno wrote:
15 Nov 2020, 03:54
I can relate with the reason you took a star off this book's rating. I think authors should pay more attention to how appropriate their materials are for their target audience. Thanks for this awesome review and recommendation.
Any adults like enjoy children's books would be perfect for this story, though. It could be a teachable moment if parents want to read this aloud to their kids as well. Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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kandscreeley
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Post by kandscreeley »

anua24060 wrote:
15 Nov 2020, 22:58
This book sounds really fun and the layout sounds beautiful. I bet children will love to read this book with its beautiful illustrations and colorful fonts. Great and detailed review!
Yes, the pictures are quite detailed, and the changing fonts makes this fun. Thanks for commenting.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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kandscreeley
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Post by kandscreeley »

Luluwa79 wrote:
16 Nov 2020, 05:31
From my perspective, i thinks stories are written to pass some messages or lessons to be learnt by the audience.
I wouldn't want to read a novel that i won't learn from, but the book seems interesting.
Thanks for the insightful review.
It's an interesting story. Children could definitely learn a few new words from it at least. Thanks for your thoughts.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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Post by kandscreeley »

Faithy_Star wrote:
16 Nov 2020, 08:17
I'm of the view that illustrations should be present in books for children as they have a way of keeping them interested in such books. Nice review!
Yes, the illustrations in the book are a great way to keep children interested. These are fun and colorful. Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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Post by kandscreeley »

Slater678 wrote:
16 Nov 2020, 09:07
Quite an interesting book given that it describes events relating to one of my favorite season. Thanks for the enjoyable review.
I think it's my favorite season as well. It's nice that it's coming up quickly! Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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