Book Review - Share from the Heart by Marilyn Randall

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oh my where do I start with this book? First let me say I received this book from the author to review. Second, I was so disappointed with this book I never read it to my son. Share from the Heart is about two boys who walking through the woods one day meet a dragon. At first they are scared (understandably) but soon they realize that like themselves the dragon is just lonely so they invite his to come live with them. The very basic story is not a problem at it's heart but the moral of this story changes halfway through and is completely overshadowed by all the other issues. The problem with this book is everything else.This story is told in what is supposed to be poetic prose but what is really a forced jumble of words that do not rhyme or flow in any way. This book was very difficult to read not only did the story repeat and at times contradict itself but there was no meter, no groove, it was just clunky throughout.
Now the illustrations...Are these two kids walking in the woods, brothers with possibly an extremely rare skin condition? Maybe she's making a not so politically correct statement to say they are American Indians? Or maybe they have been lightly burned by their new friend the Dragon?

I like how his teeth are the same color as their skin, yummy!
Or possibly they aren't kids at all and are in fact a gay couple in their forties forced to live on their own in a log cabin in the forest where none of the other towns people have to "worry" about them. No wonder their so lonely. I mean seriously in most of these pictures they don't even look like kids.

Rubbing his chest with those crazy fingers?
These illustrations look like they were sketched by a middle schooler with little to no real drawing talent then some one handed a box of colored pencils to my three year old to put on the finishing touches. This would explain the sudden age changes, why in one picture the dragon looks friendly and in the next he looks like he's about to rip off the childrens heads, the crazy skin tone and why the "friendly" dragon has blood stained teeth. Unfortunately these illustrations were drawn by an adult.
I hate writing bad reviews. I go out of my way to find something good in a book even if I didn't love it but I just can't do it here. This is a children's book that I actively did not want my child to be exposed to due to it's utter lack of anything I, as a Mom can get behind. I wish that weren't true but the fact is, it is.

2 your two cents:

Marilyn said...

Although I always appreciate a reviewers comments and even this one, I want to point out that out of nearly 40 reviews by professionals, this is the first and only negative review this book has received. Sometimes what is meaningful to one is not to another and art truly is in the eyes of the beholder. Thanks for the effort and time you spent both reading and writing about it. Marilyn Randall - author/illustrator

Rayna said...

Thank you for being professional. I do my best be honest and that can only be as truthful as the individual sees it. I wish you the best.

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