What Makes a Children's Book Great?
-The language is rich and the words are well-chosen.
-It is respectful of a child's intellect.
-Illustrations, if present, reflect artistic beauty.
-It teaches something important to learn or simply provides wholesome entertainment.
-Biblical views are not contradicted.
-Engaging and memorable ideas are conveyed.
-Good character traits are modeled.
-Emotions such as joy, empathy, anticipation, or others are stirred.
-It provides value for all ages of readers.
-Children and parents alike want to read it again!
Isn't that an awesome list?! Any site dedicated to finding reads like that is great in my book! Definitely check out MomsKidsBooks!!
Okay.....on to my review!
Dial (December 2, 2010) 352 pages
I didn't know a thing about The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic when I started reading it, so I was a bit surprised at what the story ends up being about(in a good way). Persimmony Smudge has broken her family's Giving Pot(a pot that provides what you NEED, not want), so she heads to the woods to get another one. Little did she know that this would be the start of quite an adventure in trying to save her entire island! I'm also a bit surprised that Persimmony wasn't my favorite character. While she is the main focus, I didn't connect to her quite as much as I thought I would. My favorite character was King Lucus. He's a spoiled brat, which is NOT usually my favorite kind of character. I guess I could see his potential shining through, though. The biggest quirky trait of King Lucus is probably his love of pepper. He will do anything to get more. Well, he will make others do anything to make sure he gets more! He especially loves it with his sweet potato soup.
The Rumblebumps were my favorite part of the book, though! They just had the heart of a child, and it touched my heart to read about them!
"They came like whispers. They came like the sad, plodding hours of night. From the west the Rumblebumps slowly slinked into the town, barely lifting their big flat feet off the ground with each step. Their empty pockets sagged uselessly from their many coats, their chins hung so low they almost brushed the dirt, and their eyes overflowed with sorrow.
The sight of them filled Persimmony's heart with an unbearable ache, for though watching a Rumblebump laugh is like getting caught in a tidal wave as it breaks, watching a Rumblebump cry(a rare thing indeed) is like standing on the shore while the sea foam swirls around your feet and sucks you deeper and deeper into the soggy sand, until the sea and the sand finally swallow you whole."
I've been pondering the ending, and I'm just not entirely sure how much I liked it. I only somewhat get the "happily ever after", and in books like this, I do love my "happily ever after". I don't expect them to be all sugary sweet all the time, but I like just a bit more closure than what I got. Don't get me wrong, though! I completely love part of what was going on with the ending. There is just so many life lessons to be taken away from reading The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic. I immensely enjoyed it, and it's definitely a keeper for my boy's bookshelf. While the main character is a girl, I think this is still a great book for boys, too!
*The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic is a Cybils nominee, so it will be counted as part of the Armchair Cybils Challenge @ Hope is the Word.