Thursday, March 10, 2011

Children of the King: Cheer

Children of the King: Cheer is the first in a series written and illustrated by Cynthia Marcano. It follows Cailyn, a princess, as she seeks to return joy to the heart of her best friend, Madison. First Cailyn plans a special tea party for her friend, but this doesn't make Madison happy. Cailyn decides to ask her wise father for advice. He shares with her Proverbs 17: 22 --

"A Joyful Heart is Good Medicine." (NASB)

Cailyn thinks this is very silly advice and that's when it clicks: if she makes her friend laugh, her friend will feel better. She then plans a silly face show for all of her friends. As Cailyn makes all sorts of silly faces, joy returns to her friends. They thank the king for his wise advice and then spread the good news and cheer everywhere they go.

The computer-generated illustrations resemble paper-piecing with bold lines and shadowed sections. Softer images often serve as background to the text.

What I Like: The author uses a Proverb not often found in children's literature and does a fine job making it applicable for young hearts.

What I Dislike: I sympathize with self-published authors because I understand the difficulties they face, but too often the quality simply isn't there. This is one of those cases. The story is a bit shallow and the illustrations are just okay. And then there's the format. The text is huge, which could be wonderful for beginning readers if not for the serif font. (The "fancy" lettering makes it difficult for beginning readers to decipher consistently.) The copyright is also large and printed at the bottom of nearly every page. The two-page spreads without illustrations look like they should read left to right across both pages, when in fact the text goes down one page before starting on the next. It's confusing and lacks the polish of professionalism.

Overall Rating:

Age Appeal:
This isn't specified, but I would guess 4-6

Publisher Info:
CreateSpace, 2010; ISBN: 1451549369; Paperback; 44 pages; $10.99

Buy it Now at for $10.99!

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