Foreword Reviews

YOU Are a Great Story

Be the Author of Your Own Adventure!

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

YOU Are a Great Story is a creative, engaging picture book that invites children to use their imaginations to make each and every day an adventure.

Three children go on an imaginative quest to find an exciting bedtime story in family entertainer Adam Loosley’s interactive picture book, YOU Are a Great Story.

When their uncle asks them what kind of bedtime story they’d like to read, Casen, Keira, and Kesler only know that they’d like it to be a great one. Uncle Adam suggests imagining adventurous trips to their favorite places. Each child selects a special place, and audiences are invited to follow color-coded directions to join the chosen adventure.

Casen, the oldest, chooses a trip to the Moon; Keira’s first choice takes her to the beach; and Kesler’s choice is to visit his grandparents’ house, where great stories and great food can always be found. The story ends with Uncle Adam revealing a secret: that each child is their own story, made exciting and great by the ways that they see the world.

Short sentences and brief, animated exchanges move the story along at a fast tempo. The book encourages children to use their imaginations, and to look for great stories both around and within them. While a trip to the Moon may be tops in the adventure category, the book honors individual choices, showing that fun and new discoveries await in visits to grandparents, or in building sand castles at the beach. A brief warning that great stories are not only about fun—they also have sad moments, conflicts, and villains—is sobering, but this is counterbalanced by the book’s touches of magic. The story slows only when the children, exhausted from their imaginary explorations, are finally tucked into bed.

The text is enhanced by its colorful print and varied font styles and sizes, although the blue color used in the print tempts a “click here” response. And while color-coded directions are given, it happens that turning to the indicated pages leads instead to new threads: the page number given to follow Casen doesn’t lead to the expected continuation of his Moon adventure, but to Uncle Adam advising the children that a great adventure has both happy and sad moments.

Still, the exuberant, colorful illustrations have graphic novel sensibilities; they are effective in conveying the energy, movement, and magic that’s characteristic of the story. Emotions are brought to life through appropriate and easy-to-interpret facial expressions—though an error in one of the illustrations means that a part of a character’s mouth is missing, and the cover illustration has an unnecessary comma after the word “YOU.”

YOU Are a Great Story is a creative, engaging picture book that invites children to use their imaginations to make each and every day an adventure.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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