Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Between Books - it's a small world (a Little Golden Book)

I 100 percent get I’m not the target audience for a Little Golden Book. But I am a target audience for media related to it’s a small world! I’m mature like that. Sadly, the Little Golden Book adaptation of the attraction to me fails on so many levels.

it’s a small world by Lauren Clauss, illustrated by Steph Lew, and designed by Winnie Ho introduces kids to the classic Disney attraction. The text tells the story of a group of friends traveling the world, through the attraction, and all the things they see. On each page, children say hello to the reader in their native language. Every page is illustrated with cute adaptations of attraction scenes.

I’ll start with the good. The images are cute. They really are. I can see them decorating a young child’s room, especially if their parents are Disney Adults. It is the Disneyland Park version of the ride as Disney characters like Aladdin, Jasmine, Woody, and Jessie are in the scenes. They are cute.

But the art really can’t get me over the bad. This is an attraction defined by a song written by Disney legends! There is no reference, foreshadowing hint, allusion, introduction, or otherwise direct copy of the words. I have read, and will need to review, other books that do a much better job at introducing the song to kids, by actually, wait for it, using the lyrics! Second, if this book is to introduce the attraction to kids or remind them of it, the scenes are not in the right order. The images jump around in a way that if a kid reads the book over and over again…because kids don’t do that at all…they may be really confused when they ride the attraction for the first time.

it’s a small world, the Little Golden Book edition, fails for me on several levels. I don’t know why the production team ran away or ignored the Sherman Brothers’ lyrics. Maybe that would be too close to other books? Maybe they were instructed to treat the lyrics as words that cannot be named! But if you write a it’s a small world inspired book and never drop a verse, it’s likely going to fail for Disney fans.   


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