Sunday 30 December 2012

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Review: Um... Mommy, I Think I Flushed My Brother Down the Toilet by Jeff Rivera

Um... Mommy, I Think I Flushed My Brother Down the Toilet by Jeff RiveraUm... Mommy, I Think I Flushed My Brother Down the Toilet by Jeff Rivera (review copy) - Welcome to ’Yuck Kingdom’! The streets are made of smelly jelly fellies. The trees are all winding, dinding and finding. And the hills are made of slushy gushy mush. It’s the Kingdom of Yuck and the last place that Falisha Whiskers wants to be in. But Falisha needs to find her brother Jesse.

She didn't mean to flush Jesse down the toilet… not entirely at least! And now, she needs to find him and take him back home before her daddy gets back or they’re both going to be in heaps of trouble! But the Kingdom of Yuck has more twists and turns than a water slide. Will Falisha find her brother in the twisting streets made of smelly jelly fellies? And will she be able to get him back in time, and all bathed and clean, before their mommy tells their daddy that Falisha flushed her little brother down the toilet?
From Amazon UK

Generally, I don't review children's picture books, but as this one was already sitting in my inbox, I thought I might as well as it wouldn't take me too long to read. Unfortunately, it reminded me why I tend not to read picture books. The story isn't really my cup of tea, however, I'm going to review the book based on whether I think children will like it.

The premise of the book sounds pretty good; Falisha has flushed her annoying brother down the toilet, and on orders of her mother, she has to go down the toilet herself into the Kingdom of Yuck to rescue him and bring him back. It's dirty and smelly and made of mush. Will Falisha be able to find her brother in such a big, nasty place?

The illustrations by Danko Herrera are pretty good; they're simple, but show the real nastiness of the Kingdom of Yuck. However, I had some trouble with the writing. In the Product Description on Amazon, it says this book is for four to eight-year-olds, yet the language is a bit off. Phrases are used that you wouldn't hear out of a seven-year-old's mouth, which is how old Falisha is. Phrases like, "In my 7 years...". Nor would a seven-year-old say her mother looked at her "directly". Some of it just seems a little too old. Yet, in the same token, silly words are used in an effort to amuse children, but I can imagine them asking what they mean. Seeing as I don't have a clue what "smelly jelly fellies" are, I'm sure a child wouldn't either. Unless I'm showing my ignorance here, and a felly is something other than the outer rim of a wheel?

To me, it seems like it needs a good edit, but it's too late now as it's already on sale. In all, it's not too bad a book, but I think it will cause quite some confusion for young children.

Thank you to Jeff Rivera for the review copy.

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Published: 24th December 2012
Publisher: Self-published by Jeff Rivera
Buy on Amazon US
Jeff Rivera's Website


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