Spotty & Eddie Learn to Compromise

Spotty & Eddie Learn to Compromise

By Margaret Goldik

A review of Spotty & Eddie Learn To Compromise by Lisa M. Califoux

Published on June 1, 2009

Spotty & Eddie Learn To Compromise
Lisa M. Califoux


paper
10pp
978-1-4251-5547-6

The Montreal Review of Books receives many copies of self-published books as submissions for review. The sad truth is that, despite the fact that self-publishers are increasingly sophisticated, market savvy, and ubiquitous, the books themselves are generally not very good. When an author publishes through a traditional publisher, the manuscript is subjected to a selection process. Manuscripts that have market appeal and good writing are more likely than others to be chosen for publication. Then comes the substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Of course there are typos and mistakes in traditionally published books, but usually only a few. In many self-published books, which do not profit from this editing process, there are far too many.

So the self-published author has a book that has been spared real critical analysis, and is sometimes “edited” by a firm that is not particularly interested in a superior book. There is also the problem of distribution if the book is only available online, as many school boards and libraries have to buy through accredited bookstores.

All that being said, there are always a few that stand out as worthy of mention.

In Spotty & Eddie Learn to Compromise, teacher/author Lisa M. Chalifoux takes on the sophisticated concept of both parties giving up something so that both can benefit from something else. Spotty and Eddie are red-eared turtles who live in an aquarium, and each wants the best spot under the “sunny warmth of the [sun] lamp.” Unfortunately, the way they go about it is to continually scramble onto the rock under the lamp, and there squabble and jostle each other. Eventually Spotty decides that they must learn to compromise: to do a time-share under the lamp. He persuades Eddie and from then on each turtle gets equal time basking while the other has fun diving and swimming. This is a good starting point to discuss the concept of compromise. Charming and skilful illustrations by Heather Castles add to the slim book’s appeal. mRb

Margaret Goldik is a former editor of the Montreal Review of Books.

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