1 out of 4 stars
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Steven and His New Customized Bicycle by Steve H. Moses is a children’s picture book. In nineteen colorful pages, it tells a story about Steven and the brand-new bike that he receives for his birthday. The bike is unique and was made just for him. It even has his first skateboard built right into it. It’s the perfect birthday gift! How will everyone else react to Steven and his new customized bicycle?
I give this book 1 out of 4 stars. There are four things I look for in children’s books: pictures, plot, message, and professional editing. Unfortunately, this book fell short on three out of four of those aspects; the pictures were the only good part of this book. While the pictures are important to the book, they didn’t make up for the rest of the problems. Because of the issues with the editing, message, and plot, I just couldn’t bring myself to give the book more than one star. I wouldn’t recommend this book to others.
As I mentioned before, the illustrations were great. They were detailed and matched the story. The colors were vibrant, and they would really catch children’s attention. The way the pages were formatted was also enjoyable. I liked that the picture was on one side and the text was on the other. This was consistent throughout the book and made the text easy to follow.
The first issue I noticed was that the book was not professionally edited. There were errors starting from the first sentence of the book. Proper editing is essential for children’s books. They learn from the books they read. Children can’t differentiate between correct and incorrect grammar like adults can. Because of this, they often pick up bad grammar habits if the books they read contain errors. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but I can’t stress this point enough: children’s books must be edited well!
The second issue that came to my attention was the absence of a positive message or lesson in the book. I know that this isn’t necessarily essential to a children’s story, but I feel like this book actually gave a negative message to children. It teaches children that it is okay to show off and that it will make you cool. I don’t have children of my own, but I do have three Godchildren. I just can’t see myself reading them this book because of the underlying message.
The final issue was the storyline. It lacked a clear problem and solution. When I got to the end of the book, I couldn’t help but ask, “Oh, that was it?” There seemed to be a hint of a problem and solution toward the end of the book, but it was cleared up so fast that I’m not really sure if the author intended it to be the climax of the book or not. There also wasn’t a build-up to this problem, so it just increased my doubt about it being the intended climax.
Overall, the cons outweighed the pros of this book. Even though the pictures were enjoyable, they didn’t make up for the editing, message, and plot of the book. As currently written, it isn’t worth buying, especially since the print version of this book is pricey for a children’s book. Unless as a parent you want to try to read it out loud with correct grammar, I wouldn’t recommend this book.
Steven and his new customized bicycle
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