Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Pinkaboos - Bitterly and the Giant Problem (REVIEW)

The Pinkaboos:

Bitterly and the Giant Problem

Author:  Jake Gosselin and Laura Gosselin
  Illustrated by: Billy Kelly
  Category: Children's Chapter Book
  Suitable for: All ages; ideal for ages 5-10
  My Rating: 4.5 Stars
  Format Read for Review: ARC e-book from the author/publisher
  Pages: 98

Description: This book is a short chapter book with the occasional image, ideal for children beginning to reach the chapter-book age as well as older kids who already love chapter books. It features a strong female cast of heroes and the central themes are "bullying" and "overcoming fear." "Pinkaboos" is a derogatory term used by a bully to describe a group of fellow "frights" (think: monster children). Frights are supposed to be scary, powerful monsters who help little girls overcome their fears by visiting them in their dreams. The main bully, Vex teases Bitterly and her friends for being unable to scare, dubbing them "Pinkaboos". Bitterly's hope is that she will become a good fright and do a good job helping her little girl. But while in school learning to be a fright she is bullied and it amplifies her biggest fear that she won't be able to help her little girl. Both Bitterly and her little girl, Molly have fears they need to overcome and they help each other to do so. With a bit of courage Bitterly can change the word "Pinkaboo" to give it a positive meaning!

In Short: This book reminds me of a cross between Harry Potter and Monsters Inc. The story is fun and fast paced to hold the attention of young kids. This book would be good for a pretty large age range because of the nature of the story as well as the style of the book. Young children will enjoy having it read to them and older children will enjoy reading it on their own.         

Pros: The story is exciting and entertaining. The concept of the "frights" is a unique and interesting idea. Much like at Hogwarts they are learning to use magic, although they aren't allowed to use it when helping the little girls in their dreams. The plot took a surprising twist toward the end and transformed Vex from a bully to a frightening villain. I was very impressed with the amount of character development in so few pages. The meaning in the book is a lot deeper than I thought it would be and talked a lot about fears and the importance of overcoming them. It has a solid conclusion while also setting up the next book and leaving you wanting to know what will happen next. Your child will certainly demand the sequel after finishing this one. At the end of the book there are character bios, some fun activities, the science of fear, tips on overcoming fear and a cupcake recipe that is cute, but I would leave out the plastic spiders and just stick to the gummy worms (not generally a good idea to put non-edibles in food, especially food for children). I also liked the general formatting and styling of the book and thought it was well written and edited.

Cons: One of the protagonists was a bit aggressive and even said, "I'm gonna mess you up!" I didn't think they were a very good role model. At times I thought this book would be great even for very young kids who aren't ready for chapter books but at other times it did seem a bit dark with a lot of conflict and fighting. I don't understand when or where the frights are supposed to use their magic. Maybe that comes later, currently they are only using it in brawls with each other. Overall the story was still great, meaningful and fun.

I was given a free copy of this book in return for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. 

The Pinkaboos: Bitterly and the Giant Problem 

will be released: Sept. 6, 2016

You can find it on Amazon here. Available in both Kindle and paperback formats.

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