Magic Johnny Readingseed

Daniel H. Bloom, Author, Claudia Julien, Illustrator, Claudia Julian, Illustrator
Daniel H. Bloom, Author, Claudia Julien, Illustrator, Claudia Julian, Illustrator Ulverscroft Large Print $9.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-944007-60-0
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Named by amazingly prescient parents, Johnny Readingseed ``grew up into a grown-up sort of man'' and resolved that ``since he liked reading so much he would spend his time . . . teaching children about the joys of reading.'' Just as the noble Mr. Readingseed's ambitions are commendable, so--readers presume--are those of Bloom and Julian. Intent, however, is one thing; results are quite another. Certainly reading is a vital skill for children, but here the concept is presented in an overbearing, pretentious fashion. In this tale of Johnny's visit to a precocious narrator (who already likes to read--why is Johnny wasting his time?), Bloom makes his rather obvious points repeatedly. He also feels compelled to explain what passes for humor: describing Johnny as having a ``rib-tickling laugh,'' the author/narrator continues, ``Whenever he laughed, my ribs tickled!'' The book's design is slapdash at best: why, for instance, is different-sized typeface used on different pages? Julian's rudimentary drawings hold little appeal (although some art nouveau-ish borders are pleasant), and the four-color printing contributes to an amateurish presentation. Ages 5-9. (July)
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