Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Misadventures of Michael McMichaels, Vol. 4: Double-Dog Dare... Reviewed!



This one is for the parents in the market for children's books. I'm doing this particular book review based on the game played between the protagonist (Michael McMichaels) and the antagonist... Zeke.

In this 4th volume of The Misadventure of Michael McMichaels you have the third grader in an adventure surrounding a... dare. A game that some of the older gamers know of well, and maybe even some of the newer ones. The prize in this story happens to be Michael's best friend, so you can imagine a third grader feeling as if the sky was going to fall in if he didn't win this dare... that went from light to... challenging, to weird... to... you get the idea.

I like the way they took the chapter titles and wove them into the read, so you aren't stopping to read something separate from whats in the story. You read the chapter title, but its part of the initial sentence and allows you to keep your flow in this easy read. 

It was a bit weird the way part of the story revolved around a fellow classmate from a country in African and him being poor, (which calling him poor happens to be one of the dares) but they tried to bring it back around with lessons for children to learn from it. Could it have been done a bit different? I think so... but it is what it is. If it can boost the understanding that everyone isn't privileged and that's no reason to be treated differently (regardless of race and background)... then cool. This isn't the end of the story, but I won't give it away.

Looking back on the overall story... even if it was based on a dare, I think the writer did a good job in terms of making it feel like an adventure. You had other things going on there (teaching tools) that added that adventure element... like the lengths Michael went through to stop big bad Zeke and his family. I say that to say it was a good read that I believe will hold a child's interest.

The art is similar to what you see in the books covers image... they're just in black and white, but I think the art style will grab the attention of young readers. Unless a child is groomed to read often (so much so that they fly through books), I'd recommend them reading one chapter per day (gives them something to look forward to perhaps before bed versus a pc monitor, TV, or phone which usually aren't exactly the best options before bed). On the flipside... if you want them to get into books more often, this could be a good book to test the water and see if they're interested in reading more than one chapter in one sitting. Easy reads are a good bet.

For those of you seeking to get this book... you're looking at 95 pages for $7.95 retail. Images in the book are black and white, but... the plus about that when it comes to kids is that they can color the illustrations. So in addition to the questions at the end of the book that allow you to discuss it with your children... they have the option to enjoy some coloring action (stay in those lines... or not).

Overall, I think the book is priced okay... with nifty artwork, and a well-rounded story for the demographic. I'd personally tweak some things, but I appreciate the fact that they don't just present a book with a story to read and that's it... it contains activities that allow for questions and discussions for the purpose of kids to learn and grow in various areas.


Pace/Interest: 5

Art: 5

Overall Story: 4

Price: 4

"4.5 / 5 Cool Points"



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