Official Review: Auntie Bertie and the flying circus mouse,

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AbbyGNelson
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Official Review: Auntie Bertie and the flying circus mouse,

Post by AbbyGNelson » 12 Mar 2018, 22:12

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Auntie Bertie and the flying circus mouse," by Esther Loftus Gough.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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There is something so satisfying about finding a good children’s book that has a clever storyline, interesting pictures, and a thoughtful message. Auntie Bertie and the Flying Circus Mouse by Esther Loftus Gough is a children’s book meant for young readers that tried to have these three great elements I’ve listed.

Auntie Bertie and the Flying Circus Mouse is about the circus coming to town and Auntie Bertie’s aversion to the entire premise of people making ‘lots of noise, music! – and on top of that HAVE FUN!” She sets out to stop the circus from coming but can’t help but get sucked in by the fun and festivities. The story does not include an antagonist, which I think works well for a book for very young kids. It helps keep the story simple and more focused on learning about human interaction and other lessons that are good for young children.

While I think stories for this age should focus on didacticism, as previously mentioned, I don’t believe this story includes didactic elements very well. Auntie Bertie comes across as a grumpy Mary Poppins. She even says, “as I always say children should be seen and not heard!” which is something villainous Miss Andrews, from Mary Poppins, would say. Additionally, Auntie Bertie sees the circus owner eating with his elbows on the table, so she precedes to ‘whack’ his elbows down. While I don’t have children of my own, I wouldn’t want my nieces or nephews reading about this rude old lady.

In addition to didacticism, another common element to children’s literature is illustration. To begin with, this story claims to have a ‘Colour Therapy Twist’ (colour is the British spelling of the word). Gough attempts to explain what this means in the Introduction, but as a reader and an aunt I’m left confused as to what ‘Therapy’ is included for the children who read it. While I like the bright colors that are used as background for the pages with text, I personally felt that the illustrations were lacking. The pictures in this picture book were staid, unimaginative, and stiff. Also, many of the pictures do not show what is happening in the text. If I were to read this to a child, or if a child read this book to themselves, I think that this incongruity would be frustrating and annoying for them as it was for me.

I wanted this story to be a fun re-imagining of a Mary Poppins type character, but it fell flat for me. The elements to engage kids in a story that they would enjoy and learn from are just not there. Additionally, the focus of the story shifts half way through from Auntie Bertie to two cats – Molly and George. This shift added to my confusion while reading this story and caused the ending to feel insincere. For these reasons, and for the multitude of grammar errors, I will give Auntie Bertie and the Flying Circus Mouse a rating of 2 out of 4 stars.

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Auntie Bertie and the flying circus mouse,
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cristinaro
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Post by cristinaro » 13 Mar 2018, 06:44

I am sorry you found the book rather disappointing. It reminded me of a wonderful Romanian novel for children - Fram, the Polar Bear by Cezar Petrescu. It is the story of a bear being the favorite circus star for many years and then falling into melancholia; kids who love him raise the money to send him back to the Arctic where he learns to be among his kind again. Thank you for your honest review!
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Post by kandscreeley » 13 Mar 2018, 06:48

Yikes! I enjoy the cover, but I think you can teach manners without whack in someone! It's too bad this one didn't quite make a good impression.
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 14 Mar 2018, 01:27

Oh! I'm sorry you this book so disappointing! I would take your word for this and I would not want my younger cousins to read a book that brings out less in people. Thanks for sharing!
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Post by Mercy Bolo » 14 Mar 2018, 12:56

I was relieved when you mentioned that the story lacks an antagonist. Too bad the protagonist falls short of being a role model to children.
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Post by Mildred Stallworth » 14 Mar 2018, 22:59

The cover of this book, makes the reader feel that there's nothing but fun at the circus. I really hate aunt Bertie wasn't more loving. From the story line she didn't like children and was very rude. No child would enjoy this book. Thanks for your review

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Post by bookowlie » 16 Mar 2018, 11:58

I enjoyed reading your review. It's a shame the book wasn't as good as you anticipated. I agree that the illustrations in a children's book should reflect what's occurring in the text. Hope your next book is better!
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Post by FrancineNash1ok » 17 Mar 2018, 19:16

Auntie Bertir and the the flying circus mouse is a boring book. The book is not written very good. The children would not enjoy reading this book. The pictures could have been better.

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Post by AbbyGNelson » 17 Mar 2018, 21:19

cristinaro wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 06:44
I am sorry you found the book rather disappointing. It reminded me of a wonderful Romanian novel for children - Fram, the Polar Bear by Cezar Petrescu. It is the story of a bear being the favorite circus star for many years and then falling into melancholia; kids who love him raise the money to send him back to the Arctic where he learns to be among his kind again. Thank you for your honest review!
Oh that sounds like a fun story! Thank you for sharing :)

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Post by AbbyGNelson » 17 Mar 2018, 21:20

kandscreeley wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 06:48
Yikes! I enjoy the cover, but I think you can teach manners without whack in someone! It's too bad this one didn't quite make a good impression.
Yep, not every book can be great, but it was a bit sad.

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Post by AbbyGNelson » 17 Mar 2018, 21:22

Mercy Bolo wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 12:56
I was relieved when you mentioned that the story lacks an antagonist. Too bad the protagonist falls short of being a role model to children.
Yeah she wasn't my favorite, and i had such high hopes

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Post by AbbyGNelson » 17 Mar 2018, 21:23

Mildred Stallworth wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 22:59
The cover of this book, makes the reader feel that there's nothing but fun at the circus. I really hate aunt Bertie wasn't more loving. From the story line she didn't like children and was very rude. No child would enjoy this book. Thanks for your review
Yeah it really is disappointing!

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Post by AbbyGNelson » 17 Mar 2018, 21:25

bookowlie wrote:
16 Mar 2018, 11:58
I enjoyed reading your review. It's a shame the book wasn't as good as you anticipated. I agree that the illustrations in a children's book should reflect what's occurring in the text. Hope your next book is better!
Me too! I'm sure my next book will be better :)

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Post by kwame1977 » 18 Mar 2018, 06:14

There is something so satisfying about finding a good children’s book that has a clever storyline, interesting pictures, and a thoughtful message.

Thanks so much for this exposition to reviewing children's book.

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Post by DathanReeves » 08 Apr 2018, 19:33

Certainly doesn't sound like a book I'd show my younger family members. Great review.

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