*** (3 out of 5)
Big Hid by Roisin Swales
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I don’t have any kids, but I have a 10 year old brother and a 3 month old niece. I used to read a ton to my brother, but I have yet to read to my niece. I am a bit out of the loop when it comes to children’s books, so I apologize in advance if my review offends anyone. (I entered the giveaway with the intention of giving the book to my niece, but I still need to write the review)
In all honesty I thought this book was stupid. The story was too simple, and missing a huge plot point. Why did Big Hide?
I feel like that should be an important part of the story. The back cover says “A tale of friendship and overcoming sadness,” but the story has no indication that Big is hiding because he is sad.
I did really like the colors and illustrations in the book. The illustrations are different from anything I’ve seen, and they are fun. The colors are bright, happy, and warm. As weird as it sounds I also liked the physical feeling of the book. It is fairly big (10.5″ x 9″) and the pages are very thick. The texture of the pages is rougher than a normal page. Almost like construction paper.
I didn’t want to be unfair in my evaluation (I feel really bad calling a children’s book stupid) so I looked at other reviews online. Most people just said it was beautiful and they liked the simplicity. One person said Big Hid “can easily start the conversation about sadness, depression, social anxiety” I disagree with this because there is no indication he is hiding because he is sad. No one had anything bad to say about the book, so I was still worried about my review.
Next, I brought the book to work, and gave it to a coworker to see what she thought. While showing her the book, a couple other guys joined the conversation. Kristin, who has a 1 year old, thought the book was incredibly stupid. (her words not mine) Andy, who has two daughters aged 3 and 6, thought the book would be okay for a 2 year old. Kristin disagreed saying that she wouldn’t even bother reading it to her 1 year old. Andy did say that halfway through he thought Big wasn’t really hiding but that he had died, which would have been a little morbid, but not completely out there. Gary, who doesn’t have kids, liked the illustrations, but thought the story was too simple. All three agreed (without any prompt from me) that it was weird that the book left out why Big hid.
I decided to go ahead and give it an honest 3 star review. It is a children’s book so it is supposed to be simple, but it is missing a major key issue. Other than that I didn’t have any issues with the book and I liked the illustrations.