Book Review: The Invisible Web by Patrice Karst
Book Title: The Invisible Web: A Story Celebrating Love and Universal Connection
Author: Patrice Karst
Illustrator: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Published Date: April 14th 2020
Number of Pages: 32
Book Rating: 3/5
For my Star review system information click here.
From the author of the picture book phenomenon The Invisible String, which has sold over a million copies to date, comes a moving companion title about our connections to each other, to the world, and to the universe.
For twenty years, the modern classic The Invisible String has helped hundreds of thousands of children and adults understand that they are connected to the ones they love, no matter how far apart they are. Now, the author of that bestselling phenomenon uses the same effective bonding technique to explain the very best news of all: All of our strings to one another are interconnected in The Invisible Web. "It breathes as we breathe, pulsating all over our Earth, the single heartbeat of life and love. And do you know what that makes us all? One Very Big Family!"
This uplifting inspirational title for all ages puts the concept of "six degrees of separation" into a new context that urges readers to recognize, respect, and celebrate their infinite, unbreakable bonds with the entire human family.
* Disclaimer: I start all my reviews with this disclaimer. I might not have liked a book but that doesn't mean you won't. We all read books differently based on personal opinions, personal preferences, personal life experiences, etc. Same goes for me loving a book, you might not feel the same way and that's completely OK! The beauty of reading is that no book will be read the same way. Hell, sometimes even reading a book a second time will make it hit completely differently or make me question why I liked it in the first place. All this to say, I hope that reading my reviews can help you learn more about the book and why I felt the way I did, and then help you decide based on your personal preferences if the book would be a good fit for you or not.
So, with Children's picture books I feel there is 3 main components to look at. I will be listing them here and from now on with any other children's book reviews (as this is the first one I am officially reviewing).
The first is story, then it's illustrations, then it's message. I usually look at all of these and make a rating based on all three combined. It's not really a science, because sometimes two categories can get a 3 stars but one can get a 5 stars and make up for the other two.
With that said let's get into it!
The story was not the greatest overall in my opinion. It was an amazing idea but it didn't flow easily for me. I feel like the author could have re-ordered some of the events to make it easier to follow. All the small stories within the picture book were nice but just altering a bit the structure could have helped the overall enjoyment in my opinion. I also wasn't a fan of the writing style? This could be a personal preference but with books of this type usually the lyrical yet simple prose is what makes me resonate with the story but this prose seemed to be attempting this but not quite reaching it for me. It could be the writing style itself, or as some other reviews mentioned that it was too heavy handed and direct, more like someone was teaching you a history lesson and less like reading a story.
Now, these are all things that I see as someone who is a writer. I think most people will not really care about any of the things above as it is not evident enough to pull you out of the story or to be very jarring while reading. I think kids certainly would not pick up on it.
The story was also a bit confusing to me, as an adult I understood when I stopped to re-read what the author was eluding to but I am not sure kids would? There was a few lines with very clear cut messages that I think might make kids go "oh, now I get it" but otherwise some of the larger concepts I feel might have worked better if phrased differently in order for it to be more accessible for kids. Saying that, the author did mention it's for people of all ages so maybe it was intentional to make some things more complex to understand for the adults reading it?
The illustrations where amazing all around! Beautiful use of color, great use of space (one illustration was even vertical! The illustrator also included a lot of diversity and to be honest the illustrations allowed me to better understand the stories message. It made up some for what the words were lacking.
The message was also amazing. Overall I got what the author was getting at and I love what she was trying to share to others. I also agree with her message that we are all connected. However, unfortunately the execution was lacking for me as I mentioned in the "story" section.
So with all of this said, this is why my rating is 3.5. The message and illustrations were amazing but the writing and story structure was lacking for me.
If you have a chance to read it I do think you should! But for me this is not one I would buy full price. Until next time,