Kids of the Crick and Where It Goes is a children’s fantasy involving four young protagonists on an adventure.
In this story, four young kids set out on a hike to explore a nearby creek (the “crick” of the title). When one tumbles down a hill, the others follow, and they encounter a mountain man who leads them on a wild trip through his cave, under the sea and over the hills. They swim underwater with mermaids, climb a mountain (and talk) with lions, and shrink down to insect size in order to hang with some potato bugs. The next day, none of them are sure if it was real or a dream.
Writing for young readers can set an author’s imagination free. However, a story must be consistent and follow a logical structure, even if it’s a fantasy. Such qualities are lacking here.
While author Lloyd McIlveen notes in a foreword that some of the book’s misspellings are intended to indicate dialect, the dialect itself is inconsistent. Someone asking, “Wadiya say?” is answered with, “Whado we have to do?” Meanwhile it doesn’t make much sense that time spent with the “merpeople” leads to one of them “mersmiling,” when a smile would suffice. And while the book is a fantasy, it’s still questionable that the children are encouraged to trust a strange old man they meet in a cave.
Additionally, the four children aren’t described physically or given personality types, so they’re indistinguishable from one another. And finally, the writing can be awkward, as in: “”Roar a roar,” bursted Mr Lion.”
It’s commendable for an author to spin a yarn he thinks young readers will enjoy, but a book must also be grammatically correct, well-paced and vividly described. Kids of the Crick has potential, but it’s not yet ready for an audience of impressionable readers.
Also available as an ebook.