Hello awesome readers. I’m reviewing a children’s book today, and this is a perfect example of why I hate being sent requests for children’s books on Netgalley. Click the wrong link, find it automatically added to my shelf (affecting my ratio), receive a mess of an e-book that I’m supposed to use for review. A version made solely as a review copy, because e-books haven’t actually been made or formatted properly for this book. So keep that in mind reading my review… the hardcover copy is better I’m sure.
Kuma-Kuma Chan’s Travels
Author: Kazue Takahashi
Category: Illustrated Children’s Book
Suitable for: All ages, ideal for 2-6
My Rating: 2.5 Stars
Format Used for Review: Kindle copy received by the publisher/agent/author in exchange for an honest review.
This is a feel-good tale about a cute little bear that “travels” in his daydreams. It is told by a friend of his who receives letters from Kuma-Kuma Chan about his adventures, but they are so sloppily written that he can’t read them and can only imagine about his friend’s travels.
A daydream within a daydream, it’s Bearception.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I think it was probably a lot better before it was translated. The English translation could use a rewrite I think because the phrasing just sounds off. It’s like if google translate, translated a book and everything sounded very literal and strange. I received an e-book copy from the publisher and the formatting is absolutely terrible. The image resolution was bad, words are all over the place, at least one image I know of was missing, 4 pages in a row were the same image, and it was in Japanese so I can only guess what it said on those pages. I’m sure the physical version is better, I wish I could have seen that instead. So, keep that in mind that the readability has affected my overall scoring. This is like reviewing a book based on an abstract painting made to represent it. I’d give my copy of this book 2 stars.
It’s a cute book but the art isn’t out of this world or anything. The edges of things aren’t well defined and the colors are few and muted so I don’t know if children will understand or enjoy the images as much. I heard this bear is popular in Japan and I don’t see it, it’s a little weird looking with odd proportions and soft undefined edges. A blob with fingers. I didn’t really understand the story or rather the purpose of it. It’s fun in the sense that it is about imagination but I don’t know if the randomness and simplicity of the story will hold young readers attention. I think reading it requires too much imagination and bonus discussion to make it fun.