Who do you ask to review a children’s book? Children, of course. They’re honest, blunt, and often right.
After preparing an initial e-book draft of the Mud Bird, my wife and I asked a few families with children to read it and tell us what they thought. One family let us read the book out loud. Another family read a copy we sent to them. The children ranged in age from 1 to about 9. Here’s some of their feedback:
“Why is there a dragon?”
“John [not real name] loves the dragon!”
“This is a long book!”
“What does [insert random word] mean?”
(Multiple children): “WHY?”
“I wouldn’t pretend that. I’d pretend [insert child’s idea for an awesome story].”
“Is it over yet?” (Note to self: if a child knows ice cream will be served after reading the book–read faster.)
“Can we read it again?”
Here’s some of what our expert readers taught us:
- Children like our book—hooray for intended audience appeal!
- An occasional “big word” (like “cul-de-sac”) is OK, if there’s a parent reading with the child. It’s also true that what’s new to one child will be old to another.
- Children know how to pretend, and they’ll improve on your ideas. Pay attention: they may have the beginnings of another great story.
Now, if children would just self-market, we’d be set. 🙂