Monday, August 6, 2018

The Angry Dragon by Michael Gordon

The story features a boy and his pet dragon. It specifically addresses the topic of anger. George and his pet dragon, Joe, spend the day together and run into various real-life situations which may cause anger. The book is a great starting point for a discussion about how to deal with feelings of anger with young children.

The format is well done with words on one page and a beautifully drawn, colorful and relevant image on the other. The font is clear enough that a beginning reader would be able to pick out some words. The topic of anger is covered well without being over the top or silly. The suggestions for how to deal with anger are realistic and practical.

My one issue with the story is that it is written in a Dr. Suess style with an attempt to rhyme the sentences. I do not have an issue with the style per se, but the execution here has some flaws. There are 4 "stanzas" on each text page which are separated by a space. Each stanza ends with a period, even when the actual sentence continues into the next stanza.  There are also some issues with the cadence of the rhyming. The syllable counts range from 11 to 14 and some of the word choices make reading the story out loud awkward.

Overall I love the concept and direction of this book. I also love the illustrations. However, the flow of the stanzas needs to be more consistent so that the cadence isn't lost.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The End of Cockygate

Thank you letter from Tara Crescent's Twitter page
The cockygate saga started when an unknown author decided to trademark a commonly used word in the romance genre and then proceed to demand that any and all authors who used the word in their titles change them. More on that here and here. When her bullying didn't work she set out name herself as the victim by making a video (an analysis of the video can be seen here), having Amazon remove all the books that used the words in their titles or descriptions and filing lawsuits against the people who she determined had "stolen her work".

The people she decided to sue were the author who had filed a motion with the US Patent and Trademark office to challenge her Trademark, the author she accused of copying her book covers and the publicist for a book compilation that was written as a satirical piece where all of the stories used the trademarked word in the title. Interestingly she chose not to sue the individual authors.

The court determined that she could not stop the author from challenging her trademark so he was let go from the lawsuit. The trademark troll, as she has become known, asked for an extension in the case as it appeared she was going to settle. But then she announced her desired terms of the settlement in several publications where the interviewers choose not to fact-check the material before going to print. She also had her lawyer defend her trademark while announcing to the public that she would be dropping it.

The remaining defendants argued that the trademark troll was not negotiating in good faith while she was asking for the case to be dropped with the option for her to reopen it later. The three people involved have apparently come to a settlement, the details of which are unknown. Additionally, the trademark troll has filed papers to withdraw her petition for the trademarks.

The only thing left to do know is to the thank the numerous people who helped to fight this but specifically Kevin, Tara, and Jenn who didn't give in to the bully.