I Hug

April 14, 2019
Subheader: 

I roll my eyes.

It feels like the author didn't even try to write an actual book. The art is of spotty quality. I'm not familiar with David McPhail's other illustration work, but I'm not impressed by what he did in this book.

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Message: 

Children who are learning to read need really simple books.

Once a Mouse...

April 7, 2019
Subheader: 

Don't be arrogant, or a hermit will turn you back into a mouse.

Are all tigers prideful? Are they supposed to be that way? Is that what this story is saying, that tigers are all prideful? Was the tiger that attached the mouse/dog prideful? What does that even imply? Or is it saying that you shouldn't be proud of being powerful if you didn't earn your power?

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Message: 

Bigger animals are more prideful and less grateful? Or maybe, don't be proud of what you didn't earn?

Amos and Boris

March 31, 2019
Subheader: 

Somewhere on the good side of "meh."

"I don't have to tell you how these old friends felt at meeting again in this desparate situtation." Okay, technically, Mr. Steig, you don't. But you also didn't have to write this book. You're a writer, for Pete's sake. Write.

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Message: 

Be kind and help others.

Don't Forget Dexter

March 17, 2019
Subheader: 

Cute story about a misplaced toy.

It really captures the emotions that people go through, especially kids, when they worry that they've been forgotten, with a pervasive humor and dinosaur-toy-specific details.

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Message: 

Favorite toys are important. Or, family who are separated will find each other.

Chicago Treasure

March 3, 2019
Subheader: 

Sorry, Larry.

When I got the email requesting a review for this book, the brief summary had me guessing I was going to enjoy it about as much as reading a high school yearbook from a city I've never been to with photos of nobody I knew. That was about right, with the added experiences of confusion, annoyance, and mild concern for the authors' legal well-being. Also, it was way longer than I expected.

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Message: 

Chicago is awesome.

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

February 24, 2019
Subheader: 

Adjective noun, adjective noun, what do you verb?

Just like its predecessor in the series, this book has no plot, and is a series of questions to a series of animals, phrased in exactly the same way, and is highly repetitive. I guess this one is for the parents who have burned out on "Brown Bear" and will be satisfied with a slight variation for a while.

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Message: 

Different animals make different noises.

Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone

February 10, 2019
Subheader: 

More like Sir Barely-Appearing-In-This-Book.

There's no realistic usage of mathematics in this. There's no engineering or practical application of anything. It feels like the author had an ending in mind, maybe just the title of the book, and wanted to write something based on Euler characteristics, so she had to make some kind of weird, contrived situation for them to derive Euler characteristics on their own. Everything they do is just super lucky. I don't know who's going to enjoy this book. People who are really gung-ho about math, I guess.

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Message: 

Knowing mathematics will help you become the king? Enjoying math is mandatory.

Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine

February 3, 2019
Subheader: 

Or maybe "moonshine" is like "moonlight."

Maybe the father should have been clearer. Maybe she should have an additional adult helping take care of her. And where are Thomas's parents? Why do they let him drive around the island on his bicycle? Couldn't she go stay with them? This is just a weird book, and I'm not sure how applicable the message is to children nowadays.

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Message: 

Lying can cause very naive people to get killed.

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