|Little Sapling by Gill Linder|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: A sweet tale of how a sapling grows up. Whilst there is a lot of potential, a much firmer editorial hand is needed. As it stands, there's far too much text for its young audience, and some aspects of the plot stick out like a sore thumb.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 40||Date: October 2009|
|Publisher: MX Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
Little Sapling is growing up, bit by bit. Like any plant, she stretches out into the sunlight. She competes with bindweed, and then is transplanted by a forester. On the way, she comes into contact with a number of animals, like Rabbit and Hedgehog.
I liked the core idea of Little Sapling. Books about things growing are great for kids - they're a nice introduction to biology, nature, understanding where food comes from and so forth. I was really looking forward to Little Sapling, but I'm afraid the experience was largely disappointing. It's crying out for judicious editing. The text should have been heavily trimmed down to keep the attention of its young audience. The writing style itself is fine, but it needs to be much tighter and punchier to have an opportunity to shine.
If we're looking at things that should be cut out, the whole section of the sapling growing around the snake is an obvious choice. Even though the sapling has a face and talks to lakes, the rest of the book is largely based in reality. Having the sapling grow around a snake for a few days is a fundamental change in approach. Yes, it's a plot point, but it simply doesn't work, and doesn't sit well with the rest of the book. If it's a magical (or metaphorical) book, then go all out with the magic throughout. If it's a book about how an anthropomorphic plant grows, then have the plant doing what plants do.
Gill Linder's illustrations were the strongest part of Little Sapling. The sapling and his animal friends have a lot of character, and go a long way to drawing you into the story. The printing has led to a couple of bits that are slightly rough around the edges - particularly the butterflies on the front cover. By and large it all works very well, and suggests that future books from her will be worth looking out for.
Here at Bookbag, we know how tough it is for smaller publishers to make their mark. We know how hard it is for authors to get published. We try to support them where possible, and don't look to bash them for the sake of bashing them. Unfortunately, Little Sapling is a book that never quite achieves what it could. There's plenty of potential there, but a much firmer editorial hand is needed to let it reach its full potential.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
For other fun growing books, check out The Giant Carrot by Allan Manham and Penny Dann, Christopher Nibble by Charlotte Middleton, Oh No, Monster Tomato! by Jim Helmore and Karen Wall and Winnie's Amazing Pumpkin by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul.
You can read more book reviews or buy Little Sapling by Gill Linder at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Little Sapling by Gill Linder at Amazon.com.
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