So I kind of thought it a bit strange when my publisher left a book on my desk to review. I’m the office graphic designer. I looked at the book and started to write a review about the improper use of the typefaces, the layout of the pages and the illustrations.
My internal thoughts: Oh, you want me to read it. Weird. OK. No worries, I can read.
The book was a child’s book called “Good Night Texas” written by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper, and I was chosen for this task because I’m also a mom, with two kids under the age of 2, and my Texas roots go back at least four generations.
My Review as Mom: I read the book with my two mini-mes this week and they seemed to enjoy it (even the baby, but she enjoyed teething on the cardboard pages a bit more than the charming Texas bluebonnets). It starts off in Big Bend and ends up in Dallas with all the staples of Texas in between, minus armadillos — probably 'cause their characters are always flattened. This is a child’s book, and there was no need for that kind of drama; there is plenty of drama just saying “Good Night.”
My toddler sat still for the whole five minutes it took to read, which I internally noted on The Grapevine Vintage Railroad Chapter (page). We got to point at all the pictures and the different animals, working on her words. My favorite page was the Austin Bat Bridge Page (I love Austin), and my daughter’s favorite page was the last with the mom hugging the little boy — who suspiciously has a phenomenal view of downtown Dallas from his bedroom window. I also noted the lack of proper Texas diction within the pages. Adam and Mark, you could have thrown in some “howdys” and “y’alls.”
My Review as Designer: I liked the illustrations and the simple story. But I found the use of the font Comic Sans on every page, so distracting. Any designer knows that there is a list of fonts to never ever use. Comic Sans is at the top of that list, followed shortly by Papyrus. Trust me, Comic Sans is not a good option… ever. It’s not pretty (even after a glass of wine).
My Toddler’s Review: “Moon. Bunny. Taco. Train. Moooooooo. Bat. Baby. Shhhhh.” So all things considered, “Good Night Texas” is a great book for finger-pointing toddlers.
Have any of you seen this book before? My publisher got it at the airport. Is this how you write a book review? No? Oh well.
Are you guilty of using Comic Sans or Papyrus? Stop it right now.
Here’s a link so you can buy it on Amazon or you can visit their website to read about how to say “Good Night” in every state language.