A Book Review: I don’t like Koala

The book I wish I wrote:

“I don’t like Koala,” written by Sean Ferrell and illustrated by Charles Santoso is a picture book worth reading. It is creepy. Not what you’d expect from a picture book right? But as I read through the book, I couldn’t help not liking Koala either…there’s something not quite right about that Koala!

Now, don’t get me wrong, this picture book isn’t all creep. The unexpectedness of the creep factor is witty and will have you laughing out loud. It is crafted magically and is fun to read aloud. It is all the things I hope my book will b.

How I’m using this book as a mentor text:

I received a thoughtful critique of a manuscript I am working on that recommended I bring the story back around to the way it started. Have you ever been attached to an ending? Too attached? That’s how I felt about this ending. I was convinced I would rather change the beginning of the story to match the end rather than revise the ending.

Enter: “I don’t like Koala.” From a wording perspective, the ending comes full circle. On the other hand, from a concept perspective, it is literally a cliff hanger.  (I told you, creepy!) I have never thought to try out a cliff hanger at the end of a picture book. In fact, a cliff hanger doesn’t really fit the manuscript I’m working on now. Still, Ferrell’s ending made me rethink the predictability of coming full circle and inspired me to begin revising that ending I thought I loved. Some day soon, maybe my current work in progress have an ending worth reading too.

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