THE SPIRIT GLASS By Justin Heimberg [Review]
Sometimes it feels like book companies are trying anything these days to get people to go out and buy an actual paper copy of a book. With the vast numbers of ebooks available, I suspect this will become more and more true. Although the one place that I never though you would need a gimmick to get someone to buy a paper copy of a book was a children’s book. Children’s books are all about the hands on factor, and no matter how awesome the ebook is, it’s just not as awesome as paper. That is why I am on the fence about THE SPIRIT GLASS by Justin Heimberg.
The Spirit Glass, like Heimberg’s The Ghosts of Rockville, comes with a “Spirit Glass” a magic viewer designed to reveal hidden images in the book. It harkens back to the days of the “secret decoder” books of the 1970s. I like the idea, I really do, and The Spirit Glass has the added factor of falling into the spooky magic Harry Potter-esque world that young readers devour like crazed dragons. The art work is great, the images really eye-catching, but…
And there is a but here.
It’s actually the same criticism I had about the magic viewer in The Ghosts of Rockville. It just doesn’t always work, which could prove frustrating for the intended four to eight-year-old age group, but maybe the problem is me, I pressed the thing against the page, turned it the way it was supposed to be turned and half the time found myself looking at the back where there is an “answer key” for all the images. It was extremely frustrating at times, especially when I would peek at the back, then return to try and find the image and couldn’t. The other thing is, the difficulty isn’t consistent. Some images are right there, and others I never did manage to find. For those that do find them all, there is even the opportunity to pop online to find more and enter to have their own ghost image used in the next Spirit Glass book
I love children’s books. I have dozens of them, I love the art and the stories and I love the sense of wonder that the combination of the written word and stunning art can bring to a child. It’s a way to create a love of reading that will never go away. That’s why I am so stuck on this book. The Spirit Glass is fun, it’s spooky and if the magic viewing glass works it’s double the fun. I am not sure that the added gimmick really adds anything to the book, and I just hope that if someone can’t get the “magic” to work, it doesn’t sour them on all books.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Seven Footer Press | Pages: 32 | Source: Publisher | Buy on Amazon