Author: Ed Baker
Publisher: Centro Books
Every writer who writes for children knows there are a few rules: You don’t write about animals; you don’t write in rhyme; you don’t illustrate the story yourself. So, how do you break every rule and still produce a wonderful children’s story? Ask Ed Baker.
The truth is, publishers do like rhyming picture books about animals or other subjects and occasionally, authors do illustrate their own work, but the story and characters have to be just right. That’s why publishers and editors recommend that writers not submit rhyming picture books or their own illustrations—because so few authors get it right.
As stories go, Ed Baker’s isn’t new. You’ve heard it before. Two friends, who shouldn’t be friends because they have nothing in common, beat the odds and are the very best of friends. That causes trouble with all their other friends because everyone knows they shouldn’t be friends.
Kitten Cuckoo and his best friend ignore everyone’s admonishments, until life separates them. Friendship stands the test of time though and Kitten Cuckoo travels the globe looking for his dear friend. You know the ending—I don’t need to spell it out.
Baker breaks all the rules with this book. He writes in rhyme—delightful rhymes that are perfectly balanced easy flowing. Not a single verse tripped me up. It takes talent to do that, not everyone can write in rhyme. In fact, very few authors can write in rhyme, although many try. Baker’s illustrations (yes, he wrote and illustrated the book, yet another publishing pitfall) are bright and delightful. They’re entertainingly busy, but never overwhelming. Colors are rich and set just the right mood for each panel. I vividly heard and smelled each picture—that’s how inviting the characters and colors are. The story’s sweet, Baker’s animal characters are lovable, and the illustrations are charming.
The Story of Kitten Cuckoo by Ed Baker is just right…
The above review was contributed by: Susan Sales Harkins: Software consultant and the author of several articles and books on database technologies. She and her husband, William, collaborate on children's non-fiction. Click Here to read more of Susan’s Reviews