Official Review: The Amazing A-Muse-ing Lillian

Use this section to discuss drama books and poetry books. Drama includes plays but not novels. This includes work by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Miller etc. Poetry anthologies can also go here.
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bookowlie
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Official Review: The Amazing A-Muse-ing Lillian

Post by bookowlie » 21 Nov 2017, 12:00

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Amazing A-Muse-ing Lillian" by Maria Bakalis.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Amazing A-Muse-ing Lillian: A Play from the Page to the Stage is a children’s book written by Maria Balakis and illustrated by Lillian Balakis Feinberg. Written in the form of a play, the story includes an introductory explanation of what a play is and how it’s structured. The plot focuses on a girl named Terrie who wants to be a Hollywood writer, but is afraid of pursuing her dream. That’s where the competing forces of inspiration and fear enter the picture, in the form of Lillian, the Muse of Inspiration, and King Fovos. Along with their sidekicks, Lillian and King Fovos battle over Terrie’s mind in this humorous and unique story.

First, I applaud the author for coming up with a fresh concept for a children’s book. I have never read a children’s book that introduces the play genre while telling an interesting story at the same time. It would be a great choice for storytime at school. The students could take turns reading the different characters’ lines aloud and even consider putting on the play.

All of the characters are well drawn. Although the storyline revolves around Terrie, the “teams” take center stage as they prepare their strategies. The King’s aides include Pout, Doubt, and Miss Givings who, as can be expected, exhibit the personality traits associated with their names. Lillian has a few trusty friends, such as Taki the owl and Toula the ladybug. The conversations between Lillian and her helpers are particularly amusing.

The illustrations are cute and whimsical, but most of the pictures are small. The artwork often contains bits of dialogue which are difficult to see, due to the tiny size and hand-drawn style. Also, it would have been nice to have more illustrations. With the exception of the character introductions, there tends to be only one picture every four to seven pages.

The words and phrasing sometimes seem too advanced for kids. Although the book is light-hearted and funny, the jokes and puns are too subtle and sophisticated for children to fully appreciate.

I noticed several errors in this short book. The poor editing is a particular concern, as young readers are at the age where they are learning proper writing skills. The mistakes include an extra apostrophe (don’t’ instead of don’t), an extra hyphen before a word, formatting issues, space between a word and the period, missing periods, an incorrectly capitalized word and no space after a comma.

I rate this humorous book 3 out of 4 stars. It has a positive theme and a wise lesson for children. I would recommend this book to children ages 6-10 who enjoy fun, offbeat stories and might want to try putting on a play.

******
The Amazing A-Muse-ing Lillian
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Post by gali » 27 Nov 2017, 10:41

A kids' book written in the form of a play? Nice. Too bad about the poor editing, as the concept does sound original. I agree about the importance of well-edited kids' books. Thank you for the great review!
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Post by kandscreeley » 27 Nov 2017, 11:25

It's too bad shot the mistakes. I take them seriously in kid's books. Still, the concept is unique and fun. Another great review. Thanks.
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Post by bookowlie » 27 Nov 2017, 14:40

Thanks Gali and Kandscreeley for the nice feedback! Despite the errors, the story is humorous and also provides a universal lesson for all ages.
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Post by Beryl shinah » 28 Nov 2017, 03:24

I love the kids book since it's written as a play,it's unique and pleasing to read though not well edited

-- 28 Nov 2017, 03:26 --

[amazon=][/amazon]I love the kids book since it's written as a play,it's unique and pleasing to read though not well edited

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Post by Gunnar Ohberg » 28 Nov 2017, 05:47

I love books that challenge young readers. This definitely sounds like a great book that focuses on a fantastically unique subject.

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Post by bookowlie » 28 Nov 2017, 21:20

Thanks Gunnar Ohberg and Beryl Shinah for the feedback, and welcome to the forums! It's always nice when kids can learn new concepts and read a fun story at the same time.
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Post by Chloe Johnson » 28 Nov 2017, 23:06

I appreciated the honesty and kindness of this review. It was straightforward and didn't drag on, but still revealed all of the necessary information one is looking for in a review.

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Post by SHERIFF DUSH » 30 Nov 2017, 02:21

the book us cool and educative I love the book

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Post by MsTri » 30 Nov 2017, 02:45

Sounds like an interesting and "novel" - ha ha - idea, though it's a bummer about the grammatical and spelling issues.

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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 30 Nov 2017, 08:57

Children's book in the form of a play? Sounds interesting. Brings back the memories of reading classical plays. Glad to know the book is fun to read to for children. Another nice review!
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Post by Mercy Bolo » 30 Nov 2017, 09:22

I've never read a play written specifically for children. I think it would boost children's confidence and encourage them to engage in drama activities.
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Post by LivreAmour217 » 30 Nov 2017, 16:29

This book seems like it would be a wonderful way for children to learn about drama, so it’s really too bad about the grammatical errors. I hope that the author finds a good editor. Thank you for this thorough review.
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Post by bookowlie » 01 Dec 2017, 11:08

Thanks everyone for the nice feedback! The story is a nice way to get kids interested in putting on a play or just reading the different characters' parts in different voices.
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Post by kyra86 » 01 Dec 2017, 12:31

:D :D. I really love this book I really seriously need to buy it

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