Here's a great reason to review children's books: it helps you as a writer.
It makes you examine the particular children's book with an objective eye. What makes the book work? What keeps it from working? How could it work better?
Analytical thinking about any piece of writing is an important practice and skill. I know, as a screenwriter, that I get more out of going to a movie and discussing it with friends afterward than I do by just going to see it alone.
So here's what I'm saying...
If you want to write children's books, you had better read children's books. And if you're going to read children's books, you might as well review children's books!
Writing a book review forces you to think analytically about what you just read!
Of course, just because you benefit from reviewing a children's book doesn't mean others shouldn't benefit - as children's book buyers - from your insights...
Killing two birds with one book review
Most of the online booksellers, like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, encourage you to post book reviews on their sites. Why wouldn't they? It helps them sell books!
And do you know about epinions.com? It's a neat site devoted not just to children's books but to, well, everything.
It's a commercial site. Their angle is that you go there to comparison shop. Read this children's book review, read that dvd movie review.
Then purchase when you've found a product that the reviews make you feel good about.
But here's what makes epinions reviews special:
That's right! Epinions knows that if you discourage someone from buying a bad book that that person isn't going to stop buying books. Instead they're going to start searching for a book they'll like better!
Pretty cool, huh? So you can find a book on epinions, buy it, read it to your child, put your child to bed, then write a children's book review that may help pay for the book!
Now I doubt...
...that you can review children's books - or anything else for that matter - on epinions and get rich.
Still, it sounds like fun, doesn't it? And remember, you're doing it in order to better study children's books for the purpose of writing them.
In addition, you get feedback. That's right! Other epinions folk will rate your review. It's pretty much a win-win-win situation.
So here you go. I'll start you off on epinions' children's books page.
One other option
I like the writers who come to this site. I thought it might be fun if you all were to help me review children's books on this site.
I tried to think how we could make it different from other children's book review sites on the web. Here's what I came up with...
Prescribe-a-Book: Review Children's Books And Recommend Them For Particular Types Of Children
All children's books are not created equal. Nor are they all aimed at the same audience.
Different children benefit from the messages in different books. When you review children's books for this site, I want you to apply the Goldilocks principle. In other words...
For what kind of child would this particular book be just right?
Shy child? Aggressive? Mourning? Sick? Selfish?
Got the idea? I'll get this started by posting two children's book reviews of my own that you can view as samples:
Now if you have a children's book you'd like to propose reviewing for Best Children's Books' Prescribe-a-Book section, fill out this form.
After you fill out the form, you will receive an email. Just reply to the email with the text of your children's book review - whenever it's ready - and you will have completed your submission.
If you're accepted, your children's book review will get its own page.
Keep this in mind...
When you review children's books for me, I get most excited about unusual viewpoints. For instance, if you think a well-liked book gets much too much praise, that could be exactly the kind of children's book review I'm looking for. (See my Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone review for an excellent example.)
Thanks, and I'll look forward to reading your review!
Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write home page.