Hello, friends! Our book today is Adventures Of Oscar The Beagle: The Little Yellow Ball, written by Dinko Kadi and illustrated by Tom Skerlets, a tale of a picky beagle losing his favorite toy.
Noel has tried every way he can think of to get his beagle Oscar to play fetch, but Oscar is just never interested. As the two are walking, Oscar finds a yellow squeaky ball and immediately falls in love. At last, he will finally play fetch with Noel, but ONLY with the yellow ball – otherwise-colored balls are all ignored. One day, the ball becomes swept up in a fast-moving stream, causing Oscar great distress. Noel and his mother try to replace the ball, even buying a new, identical one, but Oscar refuses to play. So Noel puts together a search party of Oscar’s friends, attempting to locate the lost toy – but along the way, Oscar may just learn that it’s not what you play with that matters, but who you play with instead.
Honestly, self-published books are often a mixed bag, and this one is just that. While the message is nice – teaching children that the company they keep is more important than things – and the simple yet colorful art kept JJ entertained, I’m afraid that was where the list of positives end. Frankly, the writing is the book’s main stumbling block, and stumble it does: there are frequent spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, strange syntax choices (“the mother” instead of “his mother”, for example), ill-defined ancillary characters, and plot threads that are undefined and lead nowhere. It makes reading the story aloud a slog, and disrupts any charm in the plot. This one could have gone a few rounds with an editor and perhaps come out with a bit more coherence, which would have lent a lot to its appeal. But as it stands, it’s a pass from us.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)