Greetings, bibliophiles. I am writing to you today to share the first installment of our glorious new enterprise, “The Trumpower Twins Book Club.” Herein, my brother and I will share our thoughts, our criticisms, and our interpretations of the literature read to us by Mom. We begin without further ado:
Grumpy Groundhog by Maureen Wright
Jayce: The pictures were nice. Large two-page spreads, a soft color palette with enough pop to hold interest. The medium looked like colored pencils. The illustrations were rounded and caricature-like, but not in a weird way. The story was funny.
Justine: Indeed, I concur, the artwork was delightful. Personally, my favorite element was the rhyme scheme. The plot centers around a grumpy groundhog who does not want to get out of bed for Groundhog Day. The story is delivered in an alternating ABAB and ABCBC rhyme scheme I found most pleasing. They were not forced like so many other poetic children’s literature.
Verdict: Highly recommended for all ages. Seasonally appropriate in early February. 10 out of 10 pacifiers.
Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss
Justine: Largely a book to introduce the sequential counting of one to ten, this book was adequate for its purpose. The humor built to a plot twist at the end. The rhymes were generally sound except for a few spots that felt forced.
Jayce: This one lends itself to different voices for the characters if the reader knows what they are doing. After several reads, Mom found a way to make the competing animals sound different. That was cool.
Verdict: A functional tool. Recommended for children learning to count or for babies due to rhyming content. 7 out of 10 pacifiers.
The Night Before the Fourth of July by Natasha Wing
Justine: This was one delightful! Didn’t you agree?
Justine: Of course, the timing of it was perfect. Mom read it to us on the eve of July 3rd and then also on the morning of July 4th. The artwork was adorable, the rhymes excellent and in keeping with the cadence of the original work.
Jayce: The main characters were a brother and sister pair, which is always a win for us.
Verdict: A great new take on an old classic. 9 out of 10 pacifiers.
Baby Sees Colors! by Akio Kashiwara
Jayce: This book was mine. I am very focused and still prefer simple, straightforward things. Justine might be into language and rhymes and stuff, but I like things that are interesting to look at. This book has bright colors, firm glossy pages, and a high-contrast design that marries bold patterns to striking color.
Justine: There is much to be desired as far as the literary content is concerned. Yet for what the book intends to be–visual stimulation for developing minds–it worked splendidly for my brother.
Verdict: A solid entry into its genre: color books for babies. Not to be used for language development. 8 out of 10 pacifiers.
Hello Robots! by Joan Holub
Justine: I found myself enjoying this one more than I originally expected. The story centers around a trio of robots who are getting ready for the day, only to discover there is something amiss in their procedure. Primary colors and squares featured heavily in the art style. The rhymes were surprisingly adept.
Jayce: This book has a fun fold out page during the plot twist that really intrigued me! What was this thing? How did it work? Why did it feel different?
Verdict: Enjoyable for little robots of all ages. 8 out of 10 pacifiers.
Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton
Justine: I will be honest. This one lost points in my view for not rhyming.
Jayce: What is it with you and the rhyming? The pictures were big, bold, and simple. I liked it.
Justine: Yes, but would it have been that hard to enrich our language development by giving us rhyming text? It was comprehensive in nature; many dinosaur types were represented. I would have just preferred the delivery to be poetic rather than prosaic.
Jayce: Whatever. I give it 6 out of 10 pacifiers.
Life on Mars by Jon Agee
Justine: I think we can both agree this was a solid win! The pages were black by default to convey the feel of space. This gave the artwork (colored pencils, I think) a high-contrast look which Jayce really liked. The story was utterly delightful. A lone astronaut roams Mars searching for someone to share his box of chocolate cupcakes. There is a humorous, nonverbal twist at the end that will delight children old enough to interpret the pictures.
Jayce: I’m surprised you liked it, Justine.
Justine: Why is that?
Jayce: It didn’t rhyme.
Verdict: 10 out of 10 pacifiers. Visually interesting, a good concept, and with a twist of nonverbal humor to boot.
Ada Twist, Scientist and Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
Jayce: These were so good! Colored pencil drawings on a faint grid background. Great story of considerable length, too.
Justine: Yes, the language in these books is excellent. Not only do they incorporate vocabulary from the respective careers, the protagonists are named after a combination of famous representatives of those fields. Delightful to read for entertainment or as an introduction to an academic subject.
Jayce: They rhymed, too. Didn’t they, Justine?
Justine: As a matter of fact, they did, and it was quite excellent, thank you very much.
Verdict: 10 pacifiers out of 10 pacifiers, highly recommended to audiences of all ages and interests.