Rating Picture Books

Starry Books

I joined Goodreads a while ago but have only really embraced it this month and am finding it excellent for keeping track of our books and reading. I’m slowly moving my reviews onto there but I’m also using their five star rating system:

***** = it was amazing
**** = really liked it
*** = liked it
** = it was okay
* = didn’t like it

Unlike on this blog, Goodreads ratings are my own personal opinion, therefore some of the star ratings may seem different to the review. When choosing a star rating I take into account:

Plot
Text
Flow of text, rhyme or prose
Illustrations
Detail in illustrations
Gender stereotyping
Fonts used
Feel of paper
Size and shape of book
Nostalgia

Therefore I may give a higher star rating than the book might deserve because of huge nostalgic value; or a lower star rating because of gender stereotyping! Basically, the star ratings are a personal choice and I might change them on a more recent re-read because the book has appealed to me in a different way…

Reviews on this blog are more detailed and always honest, taking all elements of the book and its appeal to children into account, and have input from MG and DG even if I don’t specifically mention it in the review. Almost all the picture books we read have been wonderful in one form or another and the majority of them will have ***/**** ratings from me on Goodreads.

Rating picture books is, of course, entirely subjective, and a more detailed written review will give a much better idea of what the book is really like. One day I might manage to write about every book we read!

One comment

  1. ReadItDaddy

    We stopped rating books a while back for various reasons. It became too had with a 5 star scale to get past the “5 is good 1 is bad” thing, so for some books it felt a bit wrong to, say, give a book a 3 and hope that the author and illustrator (and publisher) understood that it was liked but didn’t blow our socks off.

    I used to work in videogames journalism where the entire industry hinges on a score out of 10 or a percentile rating. Sales, people’s jobs, and a great deal of personal animosity from developers meant that a review could cause upset and annoyance, or unfairly cause comparison between games split by a mere couple of percent. The other danger is that casual readers will just skip all your hard work and go straight to the number at the end of the review. That sucks when you put a lot of effort in

    With children’s books, the main reason we ditched ratings was because we very very rarely come across a stinker – and when we do we’d prefer to explain why it was a stinker rather than just slap a 1 on it. You do this very well in your reviews anyway (both on here and on good reads) so it probably wouldn’t really matter much to you but we found it more of a pain in the backside than an enhancement to the blog, so killed them off. Now, the only real measure of merit is the book of the week (and we still struggle with that too – if we get two particular cracking books, we’ll just double up and have two books of the week – why not :)

    Great thought provoking stuff as always.
    ReadItDaddy recently posted..ReadItDaddy’s Book of the Week Part 2: Charlotte’s Choice – "The Princess and the Peas" by Caryl Hart and Sarah Warburton (Nosy Crow Books)My Profile

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