Cute book review: “Little Red Writing,” by Joan Holub and pictures by Melissa Sweet
(This book is obviously not my usual, but it was so cute that I couldn’t resist…)
I’m sure that many writers have, at one point in their life, perused the many books or articles that attempt to tell us how to write or how to write better. Sometimes non-writing friends think to give writers these during the holiday season. I’ve bought a few of these books and even gone so far as to buy a writer’s companion kit – including daily prompts or pictures to get my creative juices flowing. While I liked the daily prompts, countless books on how to write better often leave me feeling frustrated. Half way through, I’m thinking – “this person is just lecturing me!” Or, “rules were made to be broken!” “How many books has this joker actually written?” And finally, “why am I reading this when I can be writing?” While some writers find these books helpful, I generally find them constraining and suffocating. The one exception that I’ve found is Stephen King’s “On writing,” which is insightful, well-written, and terrifyingly brilliant. Okay, it’s not actually terrifying, but it’s Stephen King, so it feels weird not adding that into something he wrote.
Now, this colorful little book doesn’t give you any real writing advice that you don’t already know. But, it is a short and sweet journey into the creative process through our main character – Little Red, a brave little pencil that is writing a story for class. The story book illustration and the story itself soothe my sometimes cranky author’s heart. Little Red makes sure to use exciting verbs instead of boring ones, cuts through an adjective forest that she almost gets lost in, uses conjunction glue to pull sentences together, and fights the Wolf 3000 (the meanest, hungriest pencil sharpener of them all) before saving the day. 🙂
I think this will be my go-to feel good book when I feel lost in prose or have become frustrated with my glacial writing pace – like an “oh, the places you’ll go,” type of book for struggling writers. And, it also doubles as an actual children’s book for when you read nighttime stories to your children/nieces/nephews/cute puppies/bored cats. 🙂 All-in-all, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for originality and sweetness.