Official Review: Where Is Ruby? by Rita Warren

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.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
CataclysmicKnight
Posts: 761
Joined: 26 Jan 2015, 19:51
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 150
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 49
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 61
Favorite Book: Ready Player One
Currently Reading: The Banned Book about Love
Bookshelf Size: 552
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cataclysmicknight.html
Latest Review: GOLD by Vicki Lynn King

Official Review: Where Is Ruby? by Rita Warren

Post by CataclysmicKnight » 07 Jun 2018, 17:20

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Where Is Ruby?" by Rita Warren.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


As a child, we often get very few possessions that really mean a lot to us, even if we have boxes full of toys and stuffed animals. When one of those toys goes missing, it ends up feeling like the world has ended! This is what happens to a little girl named Ruby, who buys a redheaded doll also named Ruby that mysteriously vanishes. Her older brother helps her look through the whole house, but Ruby is just gone! One night she sees a falling star and makes a wish...

Meanwhile, an ugly, old, evil witch is preparing a spell to make herself young and beautiful forever. In fact, the spell is even called Make Me Young and Beautiful Forever! The spell takes seven days and requires drinking various potions each day, so she puts her inventions and Corvus, her slave assistant crow, to work to gather the items she needs. Could this be where Ruby went, to be used as part of some heinous spell for an evil witch? Will Ruby ever see her special doll again?

Where Is Ruby? by Rita Warren is an illustrated book that's aimed at "middle-grade children", inspired by her own niece's desire for a book. The book is just over 50 pages long, with text on each left page and a full-page image on the right page of each set. However, unlike children's books that use a few words, a sentence or a paragraph at most per page of text, Where is Ruby has far more and tells a story that's at least 15-25 actual pages of text long. As such, it actually felt like reading a short story instead of a children's book, making it a good follow-up for early readers looking for something with more substance. The book also uses some larger vocabulary and lots of adjectives to set scenes and teach kids all sorts of fun descriptive words.

The illustrations, done by Cindy Nguyen, are lovely. The illustrations mostly look like digital creations, but there are plenty of little touches that bring them to life more than the typical, flat digital images some books use. There's great use of lighting, and the ugly witch really does look like a typical, ugly witch. I even rooted for her when she starts looking younger and prettier due to her potions thanks to the artwork! But Ruby is definitely the star of the show - her emotions are clear as can be, and she's adorable.

What was a little off to me about Where is Ruby? was that the majority of the book was about the witch, Sinvillainy. That's definitely an awesome name, but I wished there was more about Ruby, or at least that the doll was a bigger part of the story. There's a twist at the end involving the doll, sure, and there's even some expert level foreshadowing that I didn't notice at first right there in the images! But maybe, say, a few pages showing the doll's journey and what the doll was going through as the events happened would've been a nice touch. It was also refreshing to see siblings get along - Ruby doesn't hesitate to say why she's sad, and her brother doesn't hesitate to help look. He doesn't blame her for losing the doll, and he doesn't complain about helping. That was really sweet to see!

The writing in the book is quite fun and silly as well. Despite being so much longer than a children's book aimed at younger kids, there's still a large amount of humor and potential for doing fun voices. The book can be read by older children, surely, but reading it to them is even more fun with the witch reading off various parts of her spell or the sneaky bits of rhyming thrown in. The book is formatted as a normal book would be, in sentences and paragraphs rather than poetic verses, but the author still pulls off what she calls "easy and fa-sheezy rhyme-tyme text" quite well. These rhymes are natural and didn't make me feel like Rita was trying to force lines to mingle.

Where Is Ruby? was a fun, quick story. I could hear half the voices I'd want to use in my head as I read it, and I have no doubt creative children would do the same even reading it on their own. I found only two minor errors, and the quality of the physical book is excellent. The covers are just the right amount of solid-yet-bendy, and the images are glossy, giving them both shine and a bit of extra thickness so they're harder to tear. My rating of Where Is Ruby? by Rita Warren is 3 out of 4 stars. Whether you have a kid who loves reading on their own but isn't quite ready for full-sized books, or you want to read something longer to your child but still want to show off some awesome, full-paged images while reading it to them, Where is Ruby? is a solid choice.

******
Where Is Ruby?
View: on Bookshelves

Like CataclysmicKnight's review? Post a comment saying so!
Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 424
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 160
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 137
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Ever Told by Benjamin Bremasi

Post by joshfee77 » 09 Jun 2018, 06:41

A more involved children’s story for older readers is a great idea! Some books for kids probably don’t have enough story text to really engage with. Well done appraising the physical characteristics of the book too! A particularly detailed review.

User avatar
SamSim
Posts: 491
Joined: 02 Apr 2018, 10:51
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 21
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 179
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-samsim.html
Latest Review: Zertone by Amanda K. Rivers
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by SamSim » 09 Jun 2018, 08:44

This sounds like a great addition to a kid's book collection. I think my husband would shine at doing "fun voices" while reading this one. I really like that there was subtle foreshadowing in the images and not just in the text. Great review!
Samantha Simoneau

“But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value."
~John Adams :greetings-clapyellow:

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 1290
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 103
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 5
Favorite Book: Harry Potter and The Sorceress Stone
Currently Reading: This Nearly Was Mine: A Novel
Bookshelf Size: 422
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sahani-nimandra.html
Latest Review: The Embalmer by Vincent Zandri
Reading Device: Huawei

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 09 Jun 2018, 21:04

Seems the author has lost his touch on the protagonist which is Ruby rather than the witch but I don't think it was intentional. The story sounds a delight no matter what. Thank you for a detailed review!
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are :techie-studyingbrown: - Mason Cooley

User avatar
Riszell
Posts: 272
Joined: 08 May 2017, 01:18
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 116
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 362
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-riszell.html
Latest Review: Chancing Hope by Lisa Slater

Post by Riszell » 10 Jun 2018, 01:35

Wow! I can totally relate at that feeling even until now at my present age. I hate losing my stuff and even the most useless of my possessions. I think this will be a fun read, with fantasies and values to learn, not just for children but also as reminders for adults like me.

User avatar
daniya__shah3
Posts: 222
Joined: 17 May 2018, 07:56
Currently Reading: Wuthering Heights
Bookshelf Size: 27
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-daniya-shah3.html
Latest Review: Lonely Expiation by Siegfried Finser

Post by daniya__shah3 » 14 Jun 2018, 14:41

Children's books are incorporated with interesting yet unique idea. The fact that this also stands as a short story makes me want to read it too! Great review!
"We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars."
-Oscar Wilde

User avatar
LaurenHaupt
Posts: 683
Joined: 28 Apr 2018, 20:19
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 73
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 38
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-laurenhaupt.html
Latest Review: Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider

Post by LaurenHaupt » 16 Jun 2018, 09:23

It's nice that the brother was willing to help her out without complaining. Shows kids that you should be able to count on family.
:techie-studyingbrown:

Post Reply

Return to “Children's Books”