I'm very glad I ordered this book as an interlibrary loan instead of buying it. What a disappointment it was, from the disturbing cover art to the 50's clip-art illustrations to the hodge-podge, disorganized text. In a series of repetitive, higgledy-piggledy chapters, the author recommends the reader read specific children's books in order to "notice" a single thing about them (eg "See how Gene and Phinny are best friends--who turn out not to know each other at all") and gives assignments which mostly have to do with keeping a journal of memories from one's own childhood... and then she makes one of the most appalling errors I've seen in the literature on children's literature.
On page 125, she writes that Harry Potter is "bullied by Malloy and Snipes". Now I can understand not liking Harry Potter enough to read it, but in that case, why use it as an example? And surely the name of Snape, if not Malfoy, has entered the zeitgeist by now to the extent that most people know it? This was where she finished losing me.
She began losing me on the page where she suggested that the hopeful writer visit a school and ask lots of questions about the children's daily schedule. I've worked in the public school system. A person who did this would probably excite quite a bit of suspicion and might end up getting a visit from the police.
The book may contain material that is new to a beginner, but the difficulty of ferreting it out may daunt some readers. The last section of the book is on writing nonfiction, which may not be of much interest to those who have chosen to read a book on creating characters.