Top critical review
A good effort, but needs more work
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2019
I found the story to have some real sweetness. The relationship among the friends was delightful, even if the writing needs improving. The clumsy groundhog was endearing, although his actions and behaviors were a little odd.
I do like the concept of this children’s book, but there were many things that could have been improved. First, I got the feeling this story was written for young children because of the theme, but the length and some of the language would be more appropriate for older children however the story probably would not hold the interest of older children. I understand that this book was translated into English, but the flow of words is unnatural and stilted and way too wordy. The characters do not speak naturally and I am afraid that a child would not have patience for that. The author does much more “telling” than “showing” which slows down the action in the story. The story could use another edit as I found many grammatical and content mistakes. Some of the issues I noted could be due to translation.
I definitely had a problem with the metal claw trap. It seemed very out of place in this sweet story about three friends who meet a clumsy groundhog. It could really frighten a young child. The trap scene also bothered me because up until that point I was in a fantasy world where animals talked and rowed down rivers in boats and then — BAM! — a very vicious human object (the trap) appears in the story. It is very jarring and even a little confusing. I cannot imagine what a child would think. I would not want to be the adult who had to explain what a vicious thing a metal claw trap is.
The story was somewhat confusing in the middle when they were trying to get around the waterfall —I got lost trying to keep track of the river or stream here or there or wherever. This could definitely use a little work.
I did like the story, but feel that some more work and editing would make it better. More “showing” and less “telling” would make the story much more appealing and easier to read.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving a free copy.