I know not every book can be a winner for every reader. However, I like to think that I can find something to like about books that I am not 100% behind. Of course, that is not always the case, but I at least try and go into a book with an open mind. And while I did that with the below picture books, I had to close my mind up to liking them after reading. They did not “do it” for me. And therefore, I give both books a One Rating. That is not to say they are bad books; it just means they were books that I was not the right audience for.
Spacebot by Mike Twohy (author and illustrator) It is rare that I give a book a one rating, unless I loathe a book. I do not loathe this picture book; I just did not see the point or like what I saw. However, I can see kids who like dogs and/or robots getting a kick out this tale of a space dog coming to play (with a surprise: Spacebot came to play with the microwave, blender, and other appliances). My biggest issue is I did not like the fact that Spacebot and the appliances snub the dog and to “make up for it” all Spacebot does is give the dog a magic ball to stick on its nose so it can fly. The opportunity to teach “all should play together” was missed. The text is simple and not sure if that is why I felt it was missing something or not, but the text also was not grabbing me. I really wanted to like this book, but it fell flat.
Cityscape: Where Science and Art Meet by April Pulley Sayre (author) The photographs are nice, but I did not always understand what they were trying to represent. Each image can be overly crowded and busy. Even images that lean towards the simpler side, could be busy. They can be “mushed” on the page and everything blends into the next image at times. I did not always feel they fit the theme of the text or the theme of the book. I was looking for something else. Though while I was not sure what to expect, I think I was looking for a more straight forward, “Here is a lovely artistic arc and here is the science of an arch.” Some images will be recognizable even to people who do not live in that city/a city (such as the lions of a certain library and Rockefeller Center) but overall, it is just very generic. Little kids will like the colors, but I do not see them sitting for reading the text.
I know that Spacebot has gotten press and most of it positive. It was the reason I wanted to read it. but I was not aware of Cityscape. I am glad for the opportunity to read and review them, I am not sure I will be recommending them anytime soon.