One of These Days ¦ Tomboy
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One of These Days
Dinosaur have 'carefully selected' authors to produce these books and others in the series. The books have also been 'monitored' prior to publication with 'older children who still enjoy and benefit from picture-strip stories'.
I tried them with boys and girls in the 11-12 age range who are either poor or reluctant readers. There was general agreement that the stories were 'quite good' but not the sort to be bought or read more than once. Some children found the story line confusing. Tomboy is a complex and disjointed story about Thomas Boyd, a daydreamer who meets an inventor who brings his space dreams to life. One of These Days tells the story of three boys who find an injured deer. There are at least two sub-plots: a desire for a puppy, and boredom on the local estate.
Obvious predictability is not always a point to praise in stories but in comics it has the considerable advantage of making the text available to the struggling reader. Perhaps deliberately these specially written stories break down that comic stereotype. I do not think it helps.
Several children who tested the books felt they were for children of ten or under. What is an 'older' child in this case? It is an admirable but, I feel, unsuccessful attempt to entice a certain kind of reader. Whenever I examine such attempts I become further convinced that knowing the child and knowing the possible 'real' books and stories to suit are the true answers to solving the problem.