TDmonthly Magazine!
May 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 5


TDmonthly's Book Expert

One Educated Bookworm's Opinion

If you want to know which books to sell in your toy store, find out what the kids have to say. Each month, children's book author Dorothea DePrisco Wang reads new titles to kids, gives her educated opinion on positioning and sales to TDmonthly Magazine readers, and rates them with 1 to 5 TDs (for TDmonthly!), with “5” as the highest rating.

This month, she entered the gothic realm, watched pirates battle babysitting, and soothed children into naptime with a winter lullaby.

Title: Rebecca’s Realm, A Collection of Goth Toons
Author: B. E. Goths
Gender: Boys and Girls
Age: 8 and Up
MSRP: $12.99

TDmonthly rating:

What It Is: A small hardback book for Goth enthusiasts, or anyone with an eclectic sense of humor. Full-color illustrations feature Goth cartoons.

Why You Should Carry It:
This book is told through the eyes of Rebecca, Edgar and Max in a series of one-panel cartoons.

If your store carries Goth-inspired or non-mainstream apparel, toys, etc., this may fit in as a reasonably priced novelty. The art and text are entertaining, fun and humorous. The company, Bleeding Edge, also produces plush dolls and collectibles based on Rebecca and her little brother Edgar.

What Kids Think:
No children reviewed this book.

Title: Pirates Don’t Change Diapers
Author: Melinda Long
Illustrator: David Shannon
Publisher: HARCOURT
Gender: Boys and Girls
Age: 3 to 7
MSRP: $16.00

TDmonthly rating:

What It Is: A hardcover picture book about a crew of pirates that help babysit!

Why You Should Carry It:
The first book by Melinda Long was “How I Became a Pirate,” so if you are currently carrying that title you may want to add this one to your list. David Shannon also illustrated the first title. Known for his hit series “No! David!” he carries a history of best-selling children’s books.

What Kids Think:
The kids loved the idea of pirates changing diapers and babysitting Jeremy Jacob’s little sister, Bonney Anne. Before the pirates could dig the treasure out of Jeremy’s backyard, they had to feed, change and calm baby Bonney — a challenging and humorous feat for these rapscallions of the high seas.

Title: Forest Bright, Forest Night
Author: Jennifer Ward
Illustrator: Jamichael Henterly
Gender: Boys and Girls
Age: 3 and Up
MSRP: $7.95

TDmonthly rating:

What It Is: A board book with realistic paintings that focus on the animals of the forest in daytime and night.

Why You Should Carry It:
If your store focuses on nature and science, “Forest Bright, Forest Night” may work for you. The paintings are nice, but the editorial needs work (the book is written in short phrases that are hard for young ones to digest). Also, the book tries to achieve too much in a short format. The child looks at the forest during the day, and then at night. And the publisher introduces the concept of counting from one to 10 twice.

It’s possible that this book was supposed to flip over so that kids could count from one to 10 in the opposite direction, but the sample I received may have been printed incorrectly.

What Kids Think:
Children aged 3 to 5 who were currently in school recognized some, but not all, of the animals in this book.

Title: Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep
Authors: Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple
Illustrator: Brooke Dyer
Gender: Boys and Girls
Age: 3 and Up
MSRP: $15.99

TDmonthly rating:

What It Is:
A hardcover picture book delivered in lullaby verse with sweet illustrations.

Why You Should Carry It:
Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple deliver verse that works as a lovely winter lullaby. The words and illustrations work together to give parents a nice cold-weather bedtime book. The text focuses on how every animal rests during winter and, at the end, focuses on a single child:

“Through winter or through summer storm
Till you awaken in the morn.
Sleep, my little one, sleep.”

What Kids Think:

“Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep” was a little long for ages 3 to 5, but they all enjoyed it. I read it right after lunch — a perfect book before naptime!

Dorothea DePrisco WangWriter's Bio: Dorothea DePrisco Wang is the author of more than 40 books for children. Dorothea has 14 years of experience in the publishing industry, beginning her career with Scholastic Inc. She later became executive vice president and publisher of Intervisual Books Inc., where she created and executed 300 titles. She is best known for her titles published by Piggy Toes Press, such as “Eight Silly Monkeys” and “Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar?” Read more articles by this author


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