Donald Doing's House of Verbs

I wonder what the insurance premiums are like on a place where things are constantly happening... 

*For the most part, I enjoyed the illustrations done by the team of Cody McGrath and Anna Pan, since they matched the vibrancy (in terms of color and pace) one would expect from a book about action words  
*While author Marianna Shek could have done more with the title character, she does succeed in crafting the eccentric savant readers tend to remember (in the vein of Willy Wonka or Peter Pan)
*Donald didn't need to have those shoes (mainly because they seem super impractical for a man who is constantly on the move), but I'm darn glad he did

*Starts strongly in identifying the core plotline with the snippet about Mr. Neverthere, but really comes off the rails after that
*Normally, I'm all for bonus features in any book I bring home, but, at ten pages of debatably-interesting extra content, DDHV seems to go way overboard in this department
*The story would have been better served fleshing out some more things that Donald liked doing rather than devoting the solitary second page to it (although I realize there are a few more example towards the end, the way it was presented seems like it wants to rush to the things happening in the store without telling us more about the shopkeep himself)


If you asked me to explain what the point of DDHV was, I don't think I could give you an answer in one tightly wrapped box.  To be honest, you could give me a room full of boxes, and I still would have trouble filling them with an opinion, because I don't quite get what kids are supposed to learn from it.  Still, it is no way boring.  For that reason alone, I would never even consider Destroying it.  And so we're left with a no-doubter Donate...  

Buy / Borrow / DONATE / Destroy

The Peddler's Bed

This might be the one case where you should consider bringing a gently-used bed into your home, no questions asked.           

*As you'll see below, I have a slight issue with Lauri Fortino's plot, but, overall, it reads very well and hearkens back to nursery rhymes of old
*Trust me when I tell you that the cover construction is maybe the best I have seen for a self-published work
*My son, when asked what he thought of it, confidently said he liked it  

*My son then clarified that he didn't really like the pictures...and, to be honest, neither did I (especially the form chosen by illustrator Bong Redila for Happy the dog)
*The first time I pored through it, I came away thinking that the peddler gifted the bed because of the little man's kindness despite not satisfying the terms of their agreement, but, upon reviewing it, I realized what the technicality was that allowed him to keep it...I do wonder if (a) it 100% qualifies and (b) whether most kids would get it 
*Unless the peddler knows a guy who gives him free horses daily, my guess is that his business is fairly unprofitable, since his draft animal isn't long for this world pulling that load; not to mention the peddler's aggressive giveaway tendencies

This book definitely resonated with me, since I wouldn't be surprised if I was a traveling salesman in a former life.  Moreover, I am 100% the kind of guy who would incorporate games of chance into my business model, just to make things more interesting.  For these reasons alone, I wanted to give it every opportunity to be a Buy.  Yet I just couldn't make that leap.  If it was, in fact, a piece of sleeping apparatus, it would be the good quality mattress (with a free standard frame thrown in) you settle on because you can't quite pull the trigger on the top-tier pillowtop sleigh bed.                              

Buy / BORROW / Donate / Destroy