2 out of 4 stars
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Ringo and the Guardians of the Waterfall by Eve Vermazen is a children’s book about a dog named Ringo. Ringo is a very brave Jack Russell Terrier. Because of his bravery, Ringo is given an important task to complete. Legend has it that there is a hidden waterfall that is guarded by six rocks. These rocks are really monks that decided it was important to protect the waterfall. When anything threatens this waterfall, these rocks wake up and become humans again. Ringo’s friend Sam, also known as the wise one, sends him on a mission to find out why the Guardians of the waterfall are suddenly waking up. What’s harming the waterfall? Can Ringo find out what it is and stop it before the Guardians finish waking up?
The illustrations in this book were beautiful. I really liked that they were more abstract than most pictures in children’s books. I loved them, but I wish they had matched up with the story a little better. I read this book in a digital format, so every other page consisted of an illustration. I’m assuming that the text and picture would be seen side-by-side in a print version of the book. It would have been nice to be able to see the pictures and text together in the digital version as well, especially because I really enjoyed these pictures.
I liked Ringo’s story and the legend of the waterfall in this book. I thought that it was an interesting idea. The underlying message of protecting the environment is an important one for children to learn. With this plot and message, this book could have been excellent for children. However, the writing needs a little bit of work. The recommended age group for this book was 8 to 12. Unfortunately, I don’t think that this particular age group would have been able to follow the book that well. I read the book twice because I struggled a little bit. I kept getting lost because a lot of the descriptions were long-winded, but they were about things that weren’t necessary to complete the story. This doesn’t normally bother me. However, the story also lacked explanations for some of the more important ideas.
The editing and formatting of this book could also use some work. Some of the errors included improper word usage, run-on sentences, and incorrect formatting of many of the paragraphs. These errors were distracting. They might also make the book difficult to read out loud, and I probably wouldn’t give this book to a child because of the number of errors.
I went back and forth quite a bit on the rating of this book, but I finally decided to give it 2 out of 4 stars. I thought it had a good story to it and could potentially be a great book. The message was good, and I loved the illustrations. However, the writing, editing, and formatting could all use work. The amount of work needed was enough for me to drop the rating by two stars. Although, I probably would have given it 2.5 stars if I could. Even as written, parents could read it to their children if they’re willing to look past the errors.
Ringo and the guardians of the waterfall
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