Calling all critics!
We are planning to make our July/August issue a review issue. We are especially in need of movie and TV show reviews, and are particularly interested in reviews of classic children's movies like Mary Poppins, The Lion King, The Princess Bride, and Frozen, as well as film and TV adaptations of classic literary works, such as A Wrinkle in Time, Matilda, The Borrowers, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and The Jungle Book, among many others. If you would like to send us a book review, we are most excited to read reviews of classic books, rather than newer ones, and are also seeking reviews of classic poems. To be considered for publication in the issue (and not on the blog), reviews—which should range from 400-700 words—must be received no later than April 20.
All reviews must be at least 400 words and no more than 700 words. The purpose of a review is for you to tell others what, in your opinion, to expect. This means that you should tell us what the book, movie, TV show, or song is about, but it also means that we want you to go beyond a simple plot summary.
Books: Please begin by selecting a book from your library or bookstore. If possible, choose a book that was published within the last year or two. We also like to see reviews of children's classics.
Read the book carefully and think about what it means to you. We’re not particularly interested in a summary of the story. Instead, we want to know how the characters and situations in the story affect you personally. If there is any part of the story you find especially bad or good, write about that part. Have you had an experience similar to any in the story? If you have, write about your experience and how it compares with the one in the story. Whenever possible, back up the ideas you express in your review with examples from the book.
Poems: Do you have a favorite poem? Or maybe a poem you despise? Or maybe a poem you were just surprised to realize you liked? (When I was young, I just loved "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll!)
If so, we want to hear from you! We are looking for reviews of single poems.
Guidelines: Reviews should be between 400-700 words. The best ones will explore aspects of the poem—what is about? are there images in it? is there rhyme? does it tell a story? are there any unusual words, or any interesting punctuation or spacing? what feeling does it leave you with?—and explain why you like it, perhaps connecting it to an idea or experience you have had, or maybe even another book or poem you have read.
You can write about any poem. In addition to "Jabberwocky," here are some more suggestions:
- "Caged Bird," Maya Angelou
- "little tree," e.e. cummings
- "A Bird, came down the Walk -," Emily Dickinson
- "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," Robert Frost
- "Theme for English B," Langston Hughes
- "Spring," Edna St. Vincent Millay
- "Fog," Carl Sandburg
- "A Carafe, that is a Blind Glass," Gertrude
- "I Hear America Singing," Walt Whitman
- "This Is Just To Say," William Carlos Williams
- "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," William Wordsworth
We look forward to receiving your review!
Your movie or TV review should be between 400 and 700 words. The purpose of a review is for you to tell others what, in your opinion, to expect. This means that you should tell us what the movie or TV show is about, but it also means that we want you to go beyond a simple plot summary.
If the movie is part of a series, how does it compare to the others in the series? If you familiar with one of the actors you might say something about how this performance compares to other performances you are familiar with. You should also, as with a book review, consider the piece in relation to your own life and thoughts: how did you relate to the characters or the plots? What did the show make you think about?
Lastly, be sure to explain your opinion with references to the work. Don't just say, "I like this movie," or "I didn't like the TV show." If you have seen the work you are reviewing many times, you may want to say so.