Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Where'd You Come Up With That? ~ Wednesdays: Starvin' Marvin

Starvin' Marvin is a rhyming children's story about a poor hungry little ghost having trouble finding food that'll stay in his tummy. 

I wrote this story because my grandson and I read my other children's books, and he asked me if I would write another one. 

I said I would, and asked him what he wanted it to be about. And he said, "A ghost!"

So, I took some time to think about a unique story about a ghost that would interest a 4-year-old. 
Since ghosts can walk through walls, then how do they eat? I sat down at my computer and began writing about Starvin' Marvin. It took some trial and error to get it right, but Waylon loved it. 

We drew the pictures together, and we had fun working on the project and laughing at our mistakes and weird drawing. Eventually, we got them to look the way we wanted.

That is how Marvin came into existence!

After publishing, a LitPick reviewer gave the book a 5-star book review award. You can read it here. 

As of this morning, Starvin' Marvin had two 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Now a note about a bad review on Goodreads today. I want to paste this review into this post for a few reasons. 

One, I rarely get on Goodreads, but I thought I would get on and ask if anyone wanted to review for a free copy of the book. I knew in my heart this was a mistake because of past bad experiences with some reviewers on the site. 

Two, this reviewer didn't like the book, and that's okay. She's entitled to her opinion, but she makes some bizarre and untrue accusations.  

Three, her review is so far from what this book is about that it makes little sense. 

Here is the review:

I understand kids' books are meant to be silly, but this is kind of ridiculous. If I had kids, I'd pick out books for them that helped them actually learn something. If I myself read a book, it's to get something of value out of it, such as a moral or lesson of some sort, or to feel an emotion. Writing for children should not be any different. Children are young and susceptible to the media they take in, whether it be TV or what their parents read to them. This book is entirely about (view spoiler) What message does this send to children? The author has indirectly preached to children that eating junk food all the time is perfectly acceptable. Do you really want your malleable kids growing up reading stuff like this? What is this putting in a young child's mind? That eating candy and stealing from others is okay?
Another reason this book did not impress me: having your kid illustrate your book for you. Either the artwork is drawn by a young child, or it's drawn by an adult who took as little time as humanly possible to illustrate using a cheap program. If this was drawn by your kid, don't let your kid draw the rest of your books. First of all, this is a cop out. Some people are not going to be honest about what they think about the artwork (which, by the way, is most of the material in a kid's book) because they will be afraid to critique a little kid's work. If an adult drew this, put more effort into the work. How do you expect someone to spend money they worked hard for on something that appears to have had no effort put into it? I could make something of this exact caliber on Google Docs right now.
As for writing, there were no spelling mistakes that I could tell. The sentences rhymed (which is surprisingly lacking in some supposed "rhyming" books).

Now, what I think of this review. Children's books can be funny and silly and just written to bring smiles to children's faces, and this book does that. No, children's books do not always have to teach a lesson.

It's a fiction story about a ghost, and it does not teach children it's okay to steal and eat only junk food. I honestly don't know where that came from.

I will be the first to admit that I'm not an artist, but where is there a rule that children's picture book illustrations can't be simple and fun? Sometimes simple is better with both writing and in illustrations.

Yes, I drew some of the pictures, and Waylon drew some of them. He was so proud of the picture he added to the book. We're actually working on another book together because we enjoy the time spent together.

I think the reviewer missed the point of the book, and that's okay she's entitled to her opinion.

So, Starvin' Marvin is a fun rhyming picture book written to make kids laugh and have fun. It's okay to buy it and read it to your children. I promise it won't turn them into junk food eating thieves. LOL!

You can find Starvin' Marvin on Amazon.

Happy Reading!