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The Boring Palace (2012): No, It’s Not “Henry James Writes the Lord of the Rings”

Mariña Noya-García, The Boring Palace (No publisher listed, 2012)

points off: no publisher listed.


photo credit: Amazon

Even the sun is crying.

Author and illustrator Mariña Noya-García was seven years old when she wrote The Boring Palace. This should tell you a number of different things you should probably know before picking this up; there are the expected leaps in logic, some inconsistencies in the tale, and the artwork, well, looks like it was done by a seven-year-old. The flipside to this is that, while I am one of those people who will tell you immediately that when it comes to books written for the pre-lit set, kids are way better at seeing through bullshit than adults ever will be (hey, Dan Brown still sells millions of books a year to adults!), there’s a definite exception to be made for books written by kids for kids. Why? Because those sorts of faults aren’t the sorts of things that are going to set alarm bells off in kids’ heads; it may seem an obvious thing to say, but it’s an important one: Noya-García isn’t talking down to her audience, and that makes all the difference. You may think it’s ridiculous, but grab a copy and introduce it at storytime one night; your kid may like it a whole lot better than you think s/he will. (If you find it necessary, hey, fill in some of those blanks with your own prose. Just don’t be surprised if the kid looks at you funny when the bullshit detector goes off.) ** ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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