Friday, February 17, 2017

Author Esmerelda Q. Jones

Dinner at the Unicorn Bistro
A Book review By Ginger Dawn Harman

Have you ever wanted to try something new or maybe expand your perspective by visiting a different culture? Imagine the experience and emotions that can be had by a child. Esmerelda Q. Jones has created a children’s book for ages 6 to 10 that takes the reader and the parent on a vivid journey.

“When two rhinos visit the strange, exotic Unicorn Bistro to try something new for dinner, their magical experience is anything but. With food that's hard to recognize and even harder to pronounce, they're beginning to stick out like. . . rhinos in a land of unicorns!

While they struggle through their meal, the unicorns around them aren't so keen on making a good impression. Will the local residents ruin the rhinos' attempt to try something new? Can a kind onlooker change this culture clash for the better?

Dinner at the Unicorn Bistro is an important moral lesson taught through an offbeat wordless picture book. If you like fun illustrations, tales of clashing cultures, and a bit of social commentary, then you'll love Esmerelda Q. Jones' unique picture book.“

I enjoyed this picture book and thought that the illustrations were on mark to capture a young audience. Because there is no words, this book would be better suited to read together with a parent, caregiver, or as a therapeutic opportunity. The pictures give clear examples of emotions, poor behavior choices, manners, and discrimination. I feel that this is a great opportunity to explain to a younger child what is appropriate and mindful. For example, on page three, is it ok to slurp pasta at the table? Moreover, on page four, what does it feel like to be ignored or laughed at because you are different? When one takes the opportunity to discuss and teach children moral values your children learn important skills that will carry them into adulthood. This will affect how they see the world and behave as adults. While it may seem impossible to explain the importance of honesty or compassion to a child, showing your children how good morals affect others can have a great influence on them. While every parent or teacher wants their child or student to be honest, compassionate, kind, respectful, responsible and generous, it may be too confusing for your children to understand the importance of all values. With a picture book it becomes a tool to aid in this discovery. The author does a good job creating this in Dinner at the Unicorn Bistro. 

My only problem with this book is that the author missed a huge opportunity to help the parent or teacher by not including a dialog at the back of the book with discussion topics that could talk about morals, cultures, and society views of those that are different. Furthermore, most teachers and parents want to know more about the author. This book is written by a unicorn named Esmerelda Q. Jones. Even a book written by a character such as Kermit the Frog, has an official website that one can go to that gives information on Jim Henson Company. Parents and teachers want to know a bit more about authors. Much like a cake. We have become a society that want to have available the ingredients of what is inside. With this in mind, I feel that this book needs just a bit more. The author only has a Facebook and Twitter page. But being the type of reader that I am, I was able to find this site on the author! I would encourage setting up a website. 

I do see huge potential with this children’s book and I would suggest to change the meal given to the rhinos to be perhaps a mud pie instead of a picture that looks like poop. Some parents might find that funny and some might find it offensive.  Sometimes, one small factor such as that will take away from the overall theme of the book. I give this book an average rating but could see it revised to a five star children’s book.

Update Feb 21, 2017: The author has added 23 thought-provoking age-appropriate discussion questions to the end of Dinner at the Unicorn Bistro. The updated version is now live and available at Amazon. For this reason I have now made this a 5 star review. And a new website is in the works for adults and children.

Esmerelda Q. Jones is a unicorn who lives in a magical forest on the other side of the universe. Her favorite color is peanut butter. You can find her online in all the usual places.

To Contact Esmerelda

Put your message in a bottle and throw it at the moon. Or I guess try Twitter or Facebook.


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