14th March 2017
I'm often asked what makes a good children's book review, so here's a handy list of things to think about when you're writing your review.
Our best children's books by age charts are really popular but we want to know what you think. Tell us what's your favourite children's book and add a review here!
1. First thoughts
Can you write down what it was that made you choose this book in the first place? Was it recommended? Did you like the cover or was it the title which intrigued you? Are there illustrations? Is the book part of a series and if it is, do the books need to be read in a particular order?
Now think about how you would describe the story. Is it an adventure? A mystery? A love story? And why do you think that? Which parts of the story or which characters helped you decide on the genre?
Why do you think the author chose this title for the book? Had you heard of the author or illustrator before you read this book? Have you read any of their other books? Are they similar to this one?
Who are the main characters and what were they like? Did you like them? Did they remind you of anyone you know? If you had to choose one character to interview, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Now have a think back to the story and write down 3 things that happened. Read back what you've written. Is there anything in your summary which might spoil the story if someone hadn't read the book? Which bits of the story might you leave out when you're writing your review?
Is the book set in today's world, or sometime in the past or future? And what is it in the story or in the writing, which makes you think that? Would you like to live during that time?
Where does the story take place and if you close your eyes, can you see it clearly? Did the author do a good job of describing the place? If there are illustrations, do they match how you imagined it?
8. Writing Style
How would you describe the author's writing style? Was it well written and easy to read? Did you understand all of the words? Was it written using modern language or old fashioned language? Did you have any favourite quotes from the book?
How did this book make you feel? Angry? Sad? Happy? Did it make you feel one emotion or lots of different emotions? Which parts of the book affected you most? How did you feel at the end of the book?
Did you like the book, the characters and the writing style? Can you give some examples of which bits you liked and didn't like? Were you excited to read it and find out what happened next, or was it a bit of a struggle to finish it? How many stars out of five would you give it?