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Official Review: Billy and The Bogloids by Leigh Parker

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.

Official Review: Billy and The Bogloids by Leigh Parker

Post Number:#1 by CataclysmicKnight
» 20 May 2017, 12:51

[Following is an official review of "Billy and The Bogloids" by Leigh Parker.]

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2 out of 4 stars
Review by CataclysmicKnight
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Billy, the titular eight-year-old boy from Leigh Parker's Billy and the Bogloids: The Magic of Caymar, had a pretty sweet life until the day his parents divorced. Suddenly he no longer has his Dad around and his mom becomes an alcoholic who frequently yells at him. Things were looking terribly bleak until one day a woman named Mrs. Daley comes by wondering why Billy hasn't been in school lately. She notices the terrible conditions of both Billy's home and his mother and takes him away to be cared for in a foster home. While the home is much nicer, he's bullied in school. One day, as he's hiding from bullies in the school bathroom, a 2-foot-tall purple creature comes up the toilet and tells Billy that he's here to help him! Bintar, the purple creature, is a Bogloid and takes Billy with him through the toilet to his world, Caymar.

Caymar is a magical, friendly place, and it's been host to numerous people who are facing hardships in their lives. Billy ends up meeting several other Bogloids and a friendly giant spider named Sangkawi, all of whom teach him life lessons in their own unique ways. However, Billy isn't the only one in need of help - Caymar is being attacked by chaotic creatures called Sentos who smeak in and steal the Rantan fruit off the Rantan trees. Unfortunately, these Rantan fruit are the source of Bogloid magic, and as more and more fruits are stolen their magic and the environment begin to deteriorate.

The book has an interesting way of blending two plots into one - Billy's need to gain confidence and deal with bullies meeting the disaster of Sentos stealing Rantan fruit and ruining Caymar. There are moments where the book shines, particularly the ending and how Billy sometimes feels like the eight-year-old boy that he is. However, there are also times when Billy throws around some vocabulary I'd never expect out of someone his age, and I found most of the other characters to be a little too forgettable. I had to refer back to my notes every time Bintar, Johar and Rambutin (the three main Bogloids) were mentioned to remember which was which, and none of them were particularly strong characters. Sangkawi, the giant spider, was easily the best of the Caymarian characters, with her playful-yet-sweet ways. She felt like half-friend, half-mother-figure.

The plot and worldbuilding suffer issues as well. The writing always seemed to focus on the wrong things - some scenes that should have led quickly to the next were given whole paragraphs whereas those that would set a scene or discuss more interesting things were typically far too short. The writing is also incredibly verbose, so much so that I sometimes ended up confused by the end of it all. My eyes frequently wanted to jump over whole sentences at a time since I already knew what was happening.

I was also a little confused about who the book is intended for. The book is over 100 pages long and has only a few illustrations, meaning it's not for young children, but the plot and eight-year-old main character seem aimed more at that age group. The book is also riddled with grammatical errors that made it hard for me as an adult at times let alone a pre-teen. Finally, while it's more minor, I didn't understand why dialogue was done with single quotes (') instead of the standard double quotes (").

Billy and the Bogloids: The Magic of Caymar had a lot of potential, and it showed from time to time. Unfortunately, it still feels like it needs a lot of editing, both for rewording and for grammatical errors. I wouldn't be surprised if the 120 page book could be cut down to under 100 with some solid editing, and it would be all the better for it. As it is, my official rating is 2 out of 4 stars.

Billy and The Bogloids
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Re: Official Review: Billy and The Bogloids by Leigh Parker

Post Number:#2 by Jaime Lync
» 21 May 2017, 01:38

Very insightful review. I don't like it when books have little illustrations sprinkled into it that leaves you wanting more of them -I prefer that they have none at all or an appropriate amount. The premise seems cool. Hopefully the author develops his skills for his next work. Thanks.
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Re: Official Review: Billy and The Bogloids by Leigh Parker

Post Number:#3 by Amagine
» 21 May 2017, 11:26

It sounds like the book is unclear. It is written for a certain audience but it is verbose and a lot of scenes don't make sense. Also I don't like children's books that are riddled with misspelled words. Children need to learn the proper spelling of words, I don't want a child to read a book filled with errors. Hopefully this book can be properly edited and rewritten to suit a more specific audience.

Great Review! 😄
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Re: Official Review: Billy and The Bogloids by Leigh Parker

Post Number:#4 by anas el graini
» 24 May 2017, 18:25

I think even if it has grammatical errors or just a few illustrations
you shouldn't be exposing that mush of the book but with all of that you did a real good job.
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Re: Official Review: Billy and The Bogloids by Leigh Parker

Post Number:#5 by Victor kimani
» 17 Jun 2017, 02:17

The complicated vocabularies in such a children target reader is unnecessary. I think the grammar should be simple and entertaining
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Re: Official Review: Billy and The Bogloids by Leigh Parker

Post Number:#6 by Katherine Smith
» 17 Jun 2017, 13:24

I can see how confusing a one hundred page book would be if the audience was marketed as eight year olds. I also agree that the complicated vocabulary used in the book would not be applicable to someone who is in elementary school. I like the overall concept though of being more self confident and standing up to any obstacles.
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Re: Official Review: Billy and The Bogloids by Leigh Parker

Post Number:#7 by Rosemary Okoko
» 20 Jun 2017, 04:07

The book has a nice theme for a child's book. Errors in a child's book is unforgivable. Kids believe that adults know best and these errors will confuse them. They might even adapt the errors as being correct. Nice review.
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