Official Review: Rullunder the Imagerater by R Mikel Nelson

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kfwilson6
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Official Review: Rullunder the Imagerater by R Mikel Nelson

Post by kfwilson6 » 05 Apr 2018, 16:52

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Rullunder the Imagerater" by R Mikel Nelson.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Rullunder the Imagerater by R.M. Nelson is a children’s book about Old Rullunder, the only imagerater in his town. Rullunder has served as the town’s imagerater for many years and is beginning to look forward to retirement. His impending retirement puts the town’s mayor in a frenzy. Rullunder has never hired an apprentice or assistant who could replace him, which means the town will be left without an imagerater when Rullunder retires. The mayor finds himself moping in the town’s park where a happy girl is playing. This girl manages to rid the mayor of his worries when she provides a clever solution to his quandary.

I found the story line and conclusion absolutely wonderful. The book was easy to read and all the different forms of the word “imagerate” should be quite fun for children to attempt pronouncing without getting tongue-tied. Nelson provides an unexpected and clever solution to the mayor's dilemma. I thought I knew how the book would end, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover my assumption was incorrect.

In addition to a wonderful story line, this book has lessons in unexpected places. It can demonstrate to children that solutions can come from places that may not always be obvious. Rullunder the Imagerater also teaches that all people have ideas and talents to contribute. Finally, it teaches that children should be encouraged to develop their talents. These lessons are not at the surface of the story, but any parents looking for a book with a lesson should be pleased with Rullunder the Imagerater.

The story line is the only thing I enjoyed about this children’s book. I have quite a few criticisms about the illustrations. About one-third of the pages depict exactly the same illustrations. They simply display the text and two yellow squares, one with a red lightning bolt and one with a question mark and exclamation point. These pages are very bland and unenjoyable. Second, the pages that have full illustrations look like poorly laid out PowerPoint slides. The text is in white boxes placed on top of the illustrations. Had I actually liked the illustrations, it would have really taken away from them. However, my third complaint is with the illustrations themselves. Not only do they look like they were created by an amateur, they are also not well-matched with the corresponding text. For example, the mayor encounters a happy little girl, but the illustration depicts a big-eyed girl gaping, not looking at all happy. There is very little imagination depicted in the illustrations of a book about an imagerater, which I find ironic. Even the cover art is completely unappealing with half the cover taken up by the title in a yellow block.

Nelson’s lack of imagination is further demonstrated in his failure to give names to the town, mayor, and girl. There is no personalization to any of the three. They are referenced throughout the entire story by those three words: town, mayor, and girl. I predict this would be a frustrating characteristic of the story for parents and children who might want to discuss the book after reading it together. It would have been preferable to have the town, mayor, and girl properly named.

I give Rullunder the Imagerater 2 out of 4 stars. Although I enjoyed the story, the illustrations need to be completely redone. Additionally, for only 27 pages of content with only two to four sentences on most pages, there were quite a few typos. I recommend keeping the text and redoing everything else. This is the perfect, fun story for children between the ages of 4 and 10, but I don't think the illustrations will provide as much enjoyment as the plot.

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Rullunder the Imagerater
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Post by stacie k » 08 Apr 2018, 01:06

The lessons in this book sound wonderful! It’s too bad that the illustrations and editing were not up to par. Illustrations are so important in a children’s book. Even with a great message, the appearance can turn kids off without giving it a chance. I hope the author takes your advice!
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Post by kwame1977 » 08 Apr 2018, 07:40

A book with a good story line is cherished most. You have rightfully detailed out the review. I like your style. Thanks.

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Post by qsusan » 08 Apr 2018, 23:40

Pictures and images are a key part of any children's book and are just as important as the storyline. The illustrations can make or break a book. The author probably needs to have this book re-illustrated.

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Post by kandscreeley » 09 Apr 2018, 12:10

That's really sad. Pictures are so important in a book for children of this age. They really help the children to stay involved in the story. The fact that some of the pictures are exactly the same is very disheartening. I wonder if maybe they are place holder images so to speak. Perhaps the author intends to insert something better in a later edition? One can only hope!
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Post by kfwilson6 » 09 Apr 2018, 12:34

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
09 Apr 2018, 12:10
That's really sad. Pictures are so important in a book for children of this age. They really help the children to stay involved in the story. The fact that some of the pictures are exactly the same is very disheartening. I wonder if maybe they are place holder images so to speak. Perhaps the author intends to insert something better in a later edition? One can only hope!
I considered that on a hard copy the repeat pages may be opposite full illustrations, which would probably look better. But on the electronic version, it really didn't work well.

Thanks to all of you for the kind comments.

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Post by Libs_Books » 10 Apr 2018, 12:16

I like the idea of the lessons not being made to obvious and I think the idea of a town having an 'imagerater' is terrific - but what a pity about the illustrations! They really do make or mar a book; mar, in this case, by the sound of it.

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Post by KLafser » 10 Apr 2018, 15:27

kfwilson6 wrote: ↑
05 Apr 2018, 16:52
There is very little imagination depicted in the illustrations of a book about an imagerater, which I find ironic. Even the cover art is completely unappealing with half the cover taken up by the title in a yellow block.

Nelson’s lack of imagination is further demonstrated in his failure to give names to the town, mayor, and girl. There is no personalization to any of the three. They are referenced throughout the entire story by those three words: town, mayor, and girl. I predict this would be a frustrating characteristic of the story for parents and children who might want to discuss the book after reading it together. It would have been preferable to have the town, mayor, and girl properly named.
Full disclosure up front, I was not familiar with the word "imagerater" before just now Googling it. That said, as I was reading your review, I thought "the illustrations, really? Maybe imagerater has nothing to do with images or with imagination". Then I read your note about it being ironic, and I just laughed.

I think it's so important for children's books to have a lesson, or at least a conversation point/tool for the parent. Sounds like this hit the mark there. What a shame that the very thing that should be front and center in the storyline is so muted!

Terrific review, thanks for sharing!

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Post by cpru68 » 11 Apr 2018, 20:01

Illustrations, for me, can either make or break a children’s book. I could see by the cover that it wasn’t very well designed like you mentioned in your review. Even the title seemed a bit too much. Kids like silly words, rhymes and play on words, but the main character’s name looks confusing and not easy even to have fun with. I think that the storyline sounds great, now if the author would just make it more kid friendly and appealing, it would be better received. Thank you for this insightful review.
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Post by Momiji1987 » 12 Apr 2018, 00:16

I thought I was kind of dumb for not knowing what an imagerator was, but I had an inkling that it had something to do with imagination. It is indeed ironic that the author didn’t flesh out his characters more, lol.

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Post by Yolimari » 13 Apr 2018, 08:25

I liked the premise of the story that says people have different talents with which they can contribute to their community. But it sounds like the illustrations are clumsy and amateurish. And a children’s book with errors is a no no. Thanks for the review!
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Post by Miriam Molina » 14 Apr 2018, 18:01

Was the book imagerated by Old Rullunder? Then he indeed needs to retire! (Oops, was I too harsh?)

From the title alone, I think the book is too complicated for children. Even I was stumped by both the character's name and the term "imagerater." I cannot understand why the only character named has to have a difficult name.

You did an honest and objective review, Kfwilson6!

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Post by kfwilson6 » 14 Apr 2018, 18:30

Miriam Molina wrote: ↑
14 Apr 2018, 18:01
Was the book imagerated by Old Rullunder? Then he indeed needs to retire! (Oops, was I too harsh?)

From the title alone, I think the book is too complicated for children. Even I was stumped by both the character's name and the term "imagerater." I cannot understand why the only character named has to have a difficult name.

You did an honest and objective review, Kfwilson6!
Thanks. I like your sense of humor. You may just be right about Old Rullunder imagerating this book.

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Post by CommMayo » 14 Apr 2018, 20:20

Sounds like a cute concept for a book. Too bad the author seemed to slack when it came to illustrations and editing.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 17 Apr 2018, 13:45

This is a really great idea for a book. I love that it teaches kids to think out of the box. But like you said, it's a bit contradictory to have a book about imagination, with totally unimaginative images. A children's book needs to lean on the images as much as it does the text, sometimes even more so. Thanks for a great review :)
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