Book Review: Roscoe Riley Rules #1

ROSCOE RILEY RULES 1My son is what is termed a “reluctant reader.” It seems a little more–a little stronger–than reluctant, sometimes. About a year ago, a kind bibliophile who also happens to be family, sent along a small pile of easy reader-esque books which she hoped would entice my son to read. Alas, although he spent some time “picture walking” (another modern term used with children) through the Skylanders, it was Jack Stalwart that finally got his attention. (See review HERE.)

This book was in the pile.

I find that with these shorter books, there is never much to say, not quite enough to write a proper review. But I will do my best.

The series, as of right now at least, consists of seven books by Katherine Applegate and Brian Biggs (illustration), which are:

  • Never Glue You Friends to Chairs
  • Never Swipe a Bully’s Bear
  • Don’t Swap Your Sweater for a Dog
  • Never Swim in Applesauce
  • Don’t Tap-Dance on Your Teacher
  • Never Walk in Shoes That Talk
  • Never Race a Runaway Pumpkin

First, the title. I love the concept for this series, which consists of a play on words. Roscoe Riley rules! Of course he does. But also, Roscoe Riley. Rules #1: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs. Etc. It immediately lets you know that lovable Riley needs these kinds of rules. The kinds you might not have to tell all the other children. But Riley? He needs it all laid out, because if you don’t tell him, how is he to know?

If you know any children like that, they might like to read about Roscoe.

Or not. My son wasn’t really in to Roscoe, but I thought Rocoe was adorable–just the right mix of sweet and spice–and his first book was real cute, too. I would recommend the first book and, by extrapolation, the series. Unless. Unless, you can’t stand writing with one sentence to a paragraph.

Like this.

For the entire book.

I’m not at all sure why the author does it.

As if children just can’t handle paragraphs.

Even though breaking it up like this makes it even harder to decipher on such a skinny page.

You kind of want to throw the book, even though you are enjoying Roscoe.

It also drives my husband crazy, so it can’t be just me. And the humor is more for the adults reading to the kids. Overall, Roscoe is gentle and predictable, with a dash of modern charm. Obviously, Roscoe learns a new lesson with each book. Recommended ages: 6-8.



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