Monday, January 30, 2006
While Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed! by Katharine DeBrecht has amusing moments, don’t assume children will get the message. This book presents a gross exaggeration of a society overrun with liberal power.
I read the book the minute I pulled it from my mailbox, and had such a negative reaction that I laid it down, and waited a week. On second read, I’m afraid my opinion did not change.
The story has a platform – a no-no in children’s publishing, and especially in picture books. Secondly, I found numerous grammatical errors. While the illustrations are whimsical and spot on for the text, the writing suffers from passive sentence structure and illogical sequences. The premise is that brothers have the same dream one night of a world called “Liberaland” – a contrived plotline at best.
I suppose the book could be used as an educational tool, but only for children older than the picture book age. The sarcasm would be over the heads of any young children I know. A study guide might be helpful if it gave parents an opportunity to explain how our government works.
I found it telling that the writer of this book doesn’t write under her own name — she uses a pen name. Perhaps the author would have been more astute in offering this in the marketplace as an editorial cartoon.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 54 pages
Publisher: Kids Ahead (September 20, 2005)
NOTE: This book was given to me by Active Christian Media for the purpose of receiving reviews.