Sunday, December 02, 2007

Easy Reading is Damn Hard Writing

BC writer Ann Walsh is on the cover of the Winter 2007 issue of BC Bookworld. Below her pic is a quote from her interview: "Nearly everyone is going to write a children's book someday when they have a free weekend." Good one, Ann. Everyone thinks writing books for kids is a snap, but, as writer Nathaniel Hawthorne was purported to say, "Easy reading is damn hard writing." In other words, folks, it ain't as easy as it looks. Take, for instance, this little gem I recently came across: See Otto by the mighty talented David Milgrim. It is a "Ready-to-Read" book, Pre-level 1, published by Aladdin (Simon and Schuster). Pre-Level 1 is identified as "Recognizing Words" so the books have: word repetition, familiar words and phrases, and simple sentences. (And hilarious illustrations I might add.) With just 19 words Milgrim has created a charming, funny and witty first reader. No "See Dick Run" here. I'll keep my eyes peeled for the other in this series: Ride Otto Ride, See Pip Point, Swing Otto Swing! and See Santa Nap. As the reviewer from Kirkus says: "More, Otto, more!"

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