Whenever we hear good things about our books and our work, someone in our team will send out a mail to share it with the rest of us. Similarly, when we hear complaints about our work, everyone in the team gets to know too. Someone from our editorial team sent us a link to this post on the Bookstove and just like we share all our happy moments with our readers, we are sharing this review with you too. If you follow us on Facebook, you have probably already seen the post that says : "Gotta take the good with the bad, right? Critical feedback is good and we are thankful for it. Anyone else who has read this book has any feedback for us? Please do share."
At the Seaside written by Swapna Dutta and illustrated by Amitava Sengupta looks like an interesting book but falls short of almost every aspect of our idea of a presentable book. Peppered with tidbits of information about jellyfish, salt from the sea, the activity of fishermen, dangers at sea, and more, the story is narrated by a young girl whose name however remains a secret even in the days of heightened awareness about the rights of the girl child. Inspite of the colour, the illustrations look stale: even the breeze blowing from the sea fails to add life or movement. The fonts used are innovative, but if we look from the perspective of child readers, fonts like these usually make for difficult reading. The arrangement of text in the book is extremely haphazard and defies all theories of page-setting as it keeps alternating between centre aligned, right aligned, text wrap, left aligned and so on. The storyline is extremely arbitrary with random dialogues, events and information being thrown in. Finally, the book fails to make the young reader want to visit the seaside.