I have begun doing book reviews upon request and am happy to review picture books only, both traditionally and self-published. I do it for the love of reading, only.
So my first such review is for York the Yowie: And His Very Big Dream, written by David Goff, now available for sale
This book is the first of which, David hopes, will be a series. The authour has an education background and is a father of four young children. The idea for York and his silly turn of speech came out of the increasingly creative bedtime stories that he told his kids (upon my son's request, i make up bedtime stories featuring the Avengers).
York, a blue gorilla (ok to me it looks like a gorilla), really wants to be a world-class chef. But we all know, that's a bit of a challenge for a Yowie, as he speaks outright gibberish, so how can he even understand a recipe, let alone understand what his customers want? Read on to find out how this sweet, blue giant becomes a successful chef.
I like the theme of the story: that you can make your dreams come true and defy expectations— provided you’re willing to work hard for it and prove your ability, like York here. That’s a valuable lesson for kids to learn.
However, the words and the sentence structure used in this book, I felt were too advanced for young readers even though the simple theme and the bright illustrations seem to be geared towards this group. This made some parts of the story, especially the ending, not flow smoothly.
Also, I felt that some of the illustrations didn’t match the text. For example, York leaves his forest home for the BIG CITY, yet the illustration doesn't capture how big and busy this city is. I think this is a missed opportunity for kids to be able to point out to familiar objects, sound and spell them out (for younger readers), and to also talk about how York would have felt experiencing a bustling city for the first time (a discussion more appropriate for older readers).
Overall, this is a cute story with a cute-looking blue Yowie that has a simple yet powerful theme to it.
David also has a wonderful website that has York the Yowie’s favourite recipes on them! What a surprising delight! I’ll definitely give the York’s Frozen Chocolate Treats a try.