Wild

February 21, 2018
Subheader: 

Take a walk on the wild side.

Maybe there's some kind of metaphor here about cultural assimilation? It's really hard to tell what this author was intending exactly. The only information we get about her in the back of the book is that it's her first book and that she was born in Hawaii. It is pretty, though.

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Message: 

Wild creatures should be left in the wild.

Turtle in July

February 19, 2018
Subheader: 

Enough bullheads.

Here's the bullheads in spring. Here's the bullheads in summer. Here they are in autumn. Enough. Enough stupid fish. I don't care about the stupid fish.

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Message: 

The activities of animals change over the seasons.

We'll Paint the Octopus Red

February 17, 2018
Subheader: 

In an octopus's garden, with you.

I'm not really sure what to say. It feels like it's aimed at a very specific audience, namely children who have just had a younger sibling born who has Down syndrome, which is a very small audience. I guess you could give it to a child if you were trying to explain what Down syndrome was. But basically the only thing says is what Down syndrome isn't. It doesn't say what it is.

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Message: 

People with Down syndrome can do everything that anybody else can do.

The Mud Pony

February 15, 2018
Subheader: 

Pony ex machina.

There was no reason for him to believe that the pony would help him. So he was just basically playing with a toy that he made himself and then the toy became real, Velveteen-Rabbit-style. Unless there's some kind of tradition of making ponies out of mud and treating them as if they're real, and it does not imply that there is.

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Message: 

Treat inanimate objects with respect and the forces of nature will give you magical powers.

The Typewriter

February 13, 2018
Subheader: 

"Oh my god, a typewriter! I've never seen one of those before! This is the best day of my life!"

The message is clearly about the power of imagination. I don't know how a story this inventive and fantastical and unique is executed with this much cliche. It just ends up being so trite. It's pretty. It's nice to look at. But that's strictly because the guy's a good artist.

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Message: 

Imagination is powerful.

The Secret Life of Squirrels

February 11, 2018
Subheader: 

For a "secret" life, you have to admit it's pretty mundane.

It's definitely a unique book. You don't see a lot of pictures of live animals in different poses. This is the kind of thing that would normally be illustrated, but she took pictures and made a story out of what she could make pictures of. I really think that she would benefit from collaborating with somebody who could write well and come up with ideas for her to do.

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Message: 

Everything's better with a friend.

The Good Luck Cat

February 7, 2018
Subheader: 

Kind of like a less cruel version of "The Cat Came Back."

I probably wouldn't read this to kids based on the amount of terrible things that happen to this poor animal, but I wouldn't be that upset if somebody read this to my children. Bad things happen in the world.

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Message: 

Cats have very dangerous lives.

The Flat Rabbit

February 5, 2018
Subheader: 

Oh, go fly a... rabbit?

I can only think of the "Cat Copter," the taxidermied pet cat that somebody made into a drone. But I don't think the person who did that thought that it would be fun for the cat. The cat's dead. The cat doesn't care anymore. Why? Why would you do this, other than out of a bizarre sense of amusement?

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Message: 

Be nice to dead animals. Or, dogs are stupid.

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