Book Review: Help Me! by Paul Geraghty

Synopsis: Various animals find themselves in danger, only to be rescued by the most unlikely source –the very thing that could harm them.

Product: This storybook, while not a hardcover, is made with rather stiff board paper that allows the book to easily be held without bending. This makes it perfect for story time or a bedtime story.

Setting: Judging from the types of animals found within this book, I can only assume this story takes place in Africa.

Plot: The storyline is both realistic and ridiculous.  Admittedly many animals would find themselves in danger from various predators out in the wild, but that is the only logical aspect.  It is highly unlikely the terrified animal would be rescued from impending doom by the very animal that endangers it, or that another larger animal would bother to save it. There is a reason there is the phrase “survival of the fittest” and this sure isn’t it.

Format: This is a rather large-sized picture book. The artwork is rather well done, though in somewhat muted tones, in single or double page spreads. The words are simple sentences in a large font making it easy to read if it weren’t for the rather sophisticated word choice.

Pacing: The author tries to connect each animal’s experience to make it flow into one day at the watering hole, but instead makes for a rather disjointed connection between what is closer to short stories.

Memorable Moment: There is one line that makes it sound like a hippopotamus is trying to give CPR to an Impala (the creature not the car), thus causing a moment of humour rather than the usual horror.

Note to Reader: This book may lead a child to believe that wild animals are actually helpful creatures who would do no harm if it came at you. Should your child hear or read this book, do not take them to the zoo or on a safari for a few years.

Quote: He ran for his life. He ran till his throat burned, but the dogs were getting nearer. He could almost feel their hot breath on his haunches…

The Verdict: While I have not tried this story on a defenseless child to see what they thought of it, any adult who has seen it wonders what the author was thinking!  My advice is to stick to Disney because the worst your child will suffer from is princess-envy or a white-knight complex as opposed to nightmares.

Have you considered reading this book to children? 

Previous Reviews: The Ship of Lost SoulsA Scottish Ferry TaleCassandra’s SongOnly the Good Spy Young

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Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading.

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