A review in 366 words
I bought a copy of this book because I thought it was an exciting and interesting idea and I was intrigued to see what such a wide variety of well-known authors would do with such a small number of words: 366 words translates into only a page and a half or two pages of text.
With such a range of, and more than 200 contributors, WOW 366 is an imaginative venture and an inspiration. It's packed full of a massive scope of topics and styles: the mini stories included are about everything from contemporary football to classic knights, animals, aliens, bananas and honey, schools and parachuting frogs. Each story is told in a different style, from chatty first person to traditional prose, rhyming verse and contemporary modern narrative so there's lots to appeal to absolutely everyone.
This is also a cracking way to introduce children to a whole range of great authors. I was slightly taken aback on opening to discover the very first story is from Gordon Brown who, whatever your politics, is no great children's author. However the contributor line-up is startlingly strong - pretty much all my favourite authors have written a piece, and brilliant names crop up on every other page: Jan Pienkowski, Susan Cooper, Roald Dahl (an excerpt from), Anne Fine, David Henry Wilson, Kaye Umansky to name but a few.
What was a good idea for a book in it's own right has been made better and more useful because, at the end of each short story, there are recommendations on other things to read if you enjoyed this author's brief contribution. Hence the junior reader can use WOW 366 as springboard into the vast array of great stories available to them in libraries and bookshops. For this reason, every school should have a copy.
My only constructive criticism is that there's no contents list and the book is indexed only by author making it hard to refer back to a story if you can't remember who wrote it, and perhaps this could be amended in a reprint. Other than this, An absolute triumph. WOW!