In our family, we started doing a book review for some children’s book authors from United States, UK through Amazon and recently here in the Philippines. When our family was still living in the USA, our daughter was receiving a monthly free books supply from Imagination Library. Here in the Philippines, as far as we know, no similar program exist. So, we started the Barternihan, which another story I would like to share these coming days.
For now, what I would like to share is some tips in writing children’s book reviews. My husband criticized most of my online article (in an attempt to educate and improve my writings). He said that I always love to share too much information in just one story. So, as much as possible I will become on point in my tips here, and hoping this guidelines will help some newbies, and if you are already a professional, please share your expertise.
Here are my guidelines:
Acknowledgement & Details of the Book– In the beginning of the article for book review, I always mentioned first the main details of the books such as the title of the book, author, illustrator, and publisher. You can also add what type of book you received for reviews, you can share if its board, or paperback book. Or even indicate the categories of the book like, Christian values, Bible stories, or Fictional books.
Marketing Story of the Book– I called it Marketing Story of the Book because in my work, we help the author to market their story using the system of barter to other mom’s like me who love to educate their children through reading books. This part is where you will share your brief knowledge of the book or the heart of the story . In common term, its called the summary of the book or, in business term I will call it the selling story of the book.
Learning Experience- Since our main objective in accepting book reviews is educating our little one, I never published my work without sharing what can my daughter learned in reading the books we have for reviews. For example, when we were journeying the paper back book of author Ms. Reni Roxas, entitled Ay Naku! I shared this, “Journeying on this book with our daughter, made her more exposed not just to the 65 simple Filipino verbs and everyday dialogue that is benefiting for her brain plasticity, and bilingual development but also to Filipino close familial culture.” In addition, she also became familiarized of the tagalog expression Ay Naku and with the name of the child BotBot.
My Personal Experience – In my previous book review, I intentionally shared my childhood personal experience, current relatable character development or even educational learnings to put emphasize in the story of the book. For example when I wrote my book reviews for Lala Burara, I cited this. “In this book, I will not consent on how Lala’s mom’s always pulled her ungracious reactions. When I was a child, people that surrounds me including of blood relation always tagged me as Negrita or even ugly. Growing up, hearing those words made me to believe it and then I became inferior. I am praising God for his gracious love and in revealing to me my beautiful identity in Christ Jesus.”
Take Home Reminder– This is where the part I am sharing what I am reminded of in reading the story of the book. This part is where I make conclusion . For example, I will use my take home reminder from reading LaLa Burara: “The story for me is a gentle reminder to all of us of our tremendous influence that we can exercise daily in our children’s lives in teaching them life skills and building their character using the words we speak to them. I will end this by saying, Redeeming grace is way better than command and control. Redeeming grace is way better than scolding.” Please take note that this is not always applicable to all book reviews. Take Home Reminder part is only applicable mostly to Character stories type of Books or Christian Values.
Suggestions- This part is where I make suggestion to what type of readers the books is appropriate to share or read. Most of the time, I suggested the books to parents or my dear homemakers, teachers, and educators.
Where to Shop– Of course, to make the exchange easily to happen between the possible readers like parents and the authors and publisher, we give directions where to get a copy of the book.
That’s all and I hope my sharing of guidelines in writing book reviews will help your task easier and focus. Thank you so much and God bless you all.