Monday, December 10, 2007

Book reviews/reports at The Brown Bookshelf

This past weekend, I finished reading Chess Rumble by G. Neri, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson. I plan to post a review on Wednesday at The Brown Bookshelf.

I really enjoyed Chess Rumble. It's well written; the author created an authentic voice. The review will be a friendly endorsement. But I started wondering how I should approach other reviews, books I don't particularly like. Should I be honest and write a negative review? Do I dare question an author's character development, plot, voice? Hm.

I'm not a review journal; I'm an illustrator, so I won't do any of that. The Brown Bookshelf launched in November and has received much attention (Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, many, many, many blogs). Hopefully, before our 28-Days campaign in February, it will receive even more attention. I think it would be totally wrong of me to offer unsolicited negative critique of an authors work in such a public way (though I may occasionally do that here on my personal blog), so I won't even go there.

If I like a book, I'll discuss it. If I don't like a book, I'll shut up. I hate it when reviewers write mean things about my work, strangers out of punching range. I won't do the same to others.


jesse joshua watson said...

Hey Don,

Thank you for your thoughtful review on Brown Bookshelf. It was great to hear your take on this book. I am really happy I got to be a part of it and hope lots of kids can pick it up and appreciate it.

I am honored to have gotten a positive endorsement from an artist as accomplished as yourself.

Christmas Blessings to you and your family.



Rinda M. Byers said...

Well, you know the two old sayings:

"Silence is golden" and yet "all that glitters is not gold."

Possibly finding the "golden mean" is the best answer!

I don't mind a negative review if it is an intelligent one from a knowledgeable person, myself. Helps me improve.

Don Tate II said...

Jesse, I truly enjoyed your work. The people were real, almost recognizable like people I know. Great job you did. And thanks for stopping by.