July 2nd, 2013

Book with cat 5

Three books: Goliath's Secret, The Compassionate Warrior, Custer's Last Battle

Goliath's Secret by Bonnie Feuer.
(Book received for free for review from The Connecticut Press.)

Goliath's Secret (children's book) was offered as an ebook, but unfortunately technically it wasn't formatted for that. Text was cut off, single words of sentences were on their own page, and the art was in even worse shape. It was nearly unreadable on a Kindle, and the art was so messed up it might as well not have been there at all. I re-downloaded it to read on the computer instead.

The font choice for the book made it hard to read -- I couldn't tell if some words were typoed or if it was the font (for some reason the "C" seemed to be the same character in upper or lower case... or the author used an upper case C any time one was used). Example:

Those Cs drive my editor eyes crazy.

Plot: The main character was a mute frog. A number of other animals came to talk to him (usually in rhyme), and tried to teach him to talk as well. In the end it turned out he wasn't mute at all (no reason was given for why he made no sounds through all the attempts to teach him to talk).

Art: Attempted realism, but most of the pictures didn't quite reach that mark. It felt like "talented high school student" level art.

Moral: The back cover gives hint to the purpose of this book. I had thought it was going to be something like "accept those who are different" or "handicapped people don't need to be changed", but it sounds more like the author's goal was to teach the readers the different way African animals communicate. On that level, it succeeded. Assuming everything in the book is true, I even learned something: Otters go "Ha!" when scared (they laugh in the face of danger?).

The Compassionate Warrior: Abd el-Kader of Algeria by Elsa Marston.
(Book received for free for review from Wisdom Tales.)

I didn't get what I expected from this book, but it was fully my fault. I thought it was a kids' book, but turns out it was YA. I thought it was fiction, but it's a biography. Neither of those facts were hidden, I just somehow missed them.

It's challenging to comment fairly on Compassionate Warrior, since I was expecting something different. As a biography, it's a worthy read -- lots of information and facts. The above link goes to Amazon; check out that page for reviews by people who weren't expecting something different. (I feel like this is a cheat of a review, but I don't want to comment on things when they would be colored disfavorably by my incorrect assumptions.)

Custer's Last Battle: Life in the Buffalo Days (children's fiction) by Paul Goble.
(Book received for free for review from Wisdom Tales.)

Technical: As with Goliath's Secret, this book was offered for the Kindle, but the formatting didn't work on it. The text was broken, many sentences ran together with no space between the words, and the graphics were all cut up/stretched/broken. Unlike Goliath's Secret, downloading it to read directly on the computer didn't fix it.

Leaving the file in its original format, the text was too small to read (and changing the text size was disabled). Converting it into a different format didn't work -- each page had two columns of text, and that seemed to confuse every other format, so every sentence was cut off.

I loved the art (very stylized, great coloring, loved the horses). I'd have liked to see bigger versions of it, but the page couldn't be resized.

I'm not counting any of these three books towards my total for 2013.