Illustrations are the star of Coy Bowles’ When You’re Feeling Sick

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WHEN YOU’RE FEELING SICK, by Coy Bowles and Andy Elkerton, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, Jan. 10, 2017, Hardcover, $12.99 (ages 3-5)

We’ve been sick at our house for what seems like forever. And I mean FOR.EV.ER. Like since before Christmas forever. So I was really excited to share When You’re Feeling Sick with my daughter. Unfortunately, I should have read it through more than once on my own first, because although the concept is super fun, the prose has some issues.

When You’re Feeling Sick is a humorous book that offers advice on how to deal with those days when “You get something you can’t kick.” From not pouring chicken noodle soup on your head to not inviting over purple elephants over for lunch and not being afraid of nurses to not giving up, this book does have some serious heart.

Illustrations by Andy Elkerton are bold and comedic. His characters are equally goofy and sympathetic, and he really captures a child’s imagination. But while the illustrations are spot on, the text is not. Almost every page has some phrasing that just doesn’t work. You’re reading along and all of the sudden, the cadence sputters. Some rhymes are too convenient, and other wording just plain doesn’t work.This is one of those cases where I wish the text had been edited down so that the illustrations could to the talking.

© 2017, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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