Summary:No matter how hard she tries life never seems to go quite right for Gnipper Tallhat, an eight-year-old Gnome determined to receive the recognition her intelligence deserves. This time, however, she's got it all figured out. Finally, her father will have to be proud of her accomplishments...provided he manages to live through them.
I felt like this story completely missed the mark given the target audience. There is one point I would like to make clear before I go on: Lantz can write. This story was polished and read smoothly. My issues are with the content and plot.
"Gnit-wit Gnipper" is a child's story. My guess is that Lantz was trying to go for more of a Grimm's fairy tale approach rather than Disney. There's a dark humor to the story which is not necessarily a bad thing if done correctly.
I'm a teacher and I work with children ages three through teenager on a daily basis. I'm not one for talking down to children but I also understand that certain things need to be age appropriate. For example, I am not sarcastic with my four year olds but with my seven and eight year olds I am because they get sarcasm.
The humor is just a little too dark in this story and the vocabulary is just a little too mature. Very few eight year olds are going to understand the phrase: "No, when it came to personal catastrophe Gnipper was a child prodigy."
The plot is also disturbing. Basically, Gnipper poisons her father with a serious plague, severely hurts him in the process and then almost kills him before she manages to figure out a cure. There's really no sugar coating that one. I mean the number one fear for most kids is the death or loss of their parents. And this is supposed to be read to them before they go to bed?
In short, I have no issues with Lantz's writing style. But if you're a parent looking for a new book for your kid, I would definitely read through this story first and make a judgement call.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
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