the collaborative process in books and blogs

There comes a time when you realize that you and your child have very different viewpoints on what makes something good. Take Dora for example. J loved her for a number of years and I can’t bear to listen to the theme song at this point. But it happens with books too. A big part of it has to do with what kids find funny versus what adults like. Disney has done a great job with their movies in making them appealing to both audiences, but it doesn’t always work (take Mulan). Well, Chloe and the Lion is one of those books that I wouldn’t include on our list, but J keeps asking me to read it to her and since this is her blog too, I need to be sure to showcase stuff that she really likes. Apparently, it seems that I’m in the minority anyway, because this book gets rave reviews on goodreads.

chloe cover

The books really isn’t about Chloe and a lion. The book is really about Mac Barnett and Adam Rex. It starts off normally enough. After meeting the author, the illustrator, and the main character, we learn that Chloe likes to spend her weeks looking for loose change so that she can ride the merry-go-round on the weekends. One week she finds so much change that she rides over and over, gets a little dizzy and loses her way in the forest. Then a “huge lion leapt out from behind an oak tree,” except it wasn’t a lion and this is where the 4th wall of our story comes crashing down.


Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 9.12.30 PMAt this point, the story really becomes about the relationship between author and illustrator and the trials of working with someone else.In the end, it is Chloe who saves the day and gets Adam out of the belly of the lion. Way to go Chloe!

I think that showing how two people need to work together when collaborating on a project is a great topic and this book approaches it in a marvelous way. Somehow the book just wasn’t my style. As I said though, J loved it. This was definitely different from a lot of the other books we’ve read, so in that sense, it was great to see her enjoying something completely different.  It gets hard to find picture books that capture a child’s attention when they are strong readers well versed in chapter books, but we are always on the lookout for something good.


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