Top critical review
21 people found this helpful
Emphasis on "Chess" not "Children"
on 5 October 2011
If you are mad on chess and have a budding genius child, this book is probably ideal. For me personally some of the diagrams and text didn't have enough explanation with them for children, and on occasion even left me scratching my head.
This book is a good introduction to chess, but not quite what I had imagined when I ordered. I had got the impression that the book is a story about a child with a pet aligator, which also teaches the rules of chess along the way. However, the book is really just a text book, an introduction to chess, with the odd cartoon thrown in. No story.
The inside of the book is entirely black and white. Amazingly the drawings in the book itself are basic pencil sketches. You get the impression that the final drawings never got done (apart from the front cover). The vocabulary is on the whole good, but in places is unecessarily unfriendly to a child (e.g. "maneuver", "motif", "obstruct", "swindle", "simultaneously"). What all this adds up to is that "Chess for Children" has become a book we are slowly working through together, rather than a book for my 8 year old to read herself.
The book goes a long way beyond explaining the basic rules of the game. It not only covers advanced rules like castling, en-passant etc. but also dives into tactics, algebraic notation etc. which is far more "Chess" than I was looking for and not enough focus on the "for Children" part of the title, which seems to have been added almost as an after thought. Having said all that, the chess content is good and I've learned things myself. I bought my elder daughter "How To Beat Your Dad at Chess" as she already knows the rules. However I think the level of "Chess for Children" would be better suited to where she is at ("How To Beat Your Dad at Chess" is too advanced for either of us). The simpler more child friendly book I had wanted to buy my younger daughter doesn't seem to exist. However in its absence, if you are prepared to put the time in and have a lot of patience, this book is worth the effort.