I’m a big believer in CS Lewis’ words, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” The genre of children’s fiction is one that I love to read. There’s innocence there, more often than not, and that’s very enjoyable to read, and remember. I came across this book in a friend’s post. Her daughter is the illustrator Mishti Shah. I liked the title, and so I picked it up for reading.
In a neighborhood, there’s an old man. He’s an enigma. He doesn’t seem to like children, and yells at them often. He’s called Uncle Uh-Oh by the neighborhood kids, who try to stay as far away from him as possible. One day, a Mustang comes to the neighborhood. A man and young boy have come to visit Uh-Oh. When the child “survives” the visit, the neighborhood children are intrigued. The man tells them some more about Uh-Oh, and encourages them to visit him. Children don’t hold grudges for long, so they start making plans as to how they can solve the mystery of The Mysterious Uncle Uh-Oh. Can they succeed?
A children’s fiction should have simple language, so that it is easy for children to read. This book has that simplicity for the most part. I love the dialogues, which feel very real and relatable. I like the character sketches too. The story brings a dejavu feeling. I love Mishti’s simple illustrations too. Some were very beautiful. If the book were a paperback, I think it’d make for a good coloring experience as well. It had that whiff of memories from my own childhood.
I think the book merited much more illustrations. They’d have added more charm to the tale. There are a lot of big words that might not appeal to children, though depending on their age, it might end up being a learning experience too. And the book could have been edited better as well.
I commend the author Kanika G for two things – giving an 8 year old girl, Mishti, the chance to illustrate the book, thereby encouraging her talent; and giving her daughter Pell G the chance to edit the book. Yes, there are mistakes perhaps, but it’s nice to see children being involved in a children’s fiction book. It brings a smile. I’ll definitely read more of Kanika’s works soon.
|Title: The Mysterious Uncle Uh-Oh|
|Author(s): Kanika G||Genre: Children’s Fiction|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9781370843640||Publisher: Self Published|
(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
17th September 2017)