A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns

May 22, 2018
Subheader: 

A boring of lists.

The page for "A bevy of beauties" is kind of sexist: it depicts a bunch of women and girls from the rear (multicultural, though!) wearing leotards and tights like they're in a ballet class. I'm pretty sure I've heard the word bevy used for quail or something. I've never heard it used for people.

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Message: 

Collective nouns exist, and here are some of them I know arranged at random.

How to Hide an Octopus and Other Sea Creatures

May 20, 2018
Subheader: 

Pretty average, mostly accurate.

But for the most part, as far as I know, this is pretty accurate. Octopi and cuttlefish actually do change their color in the way that chameleons are thought to do in popular culture, and then all the other fish that she mentions are just naturally constantly camouflaged.

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Message: 

Various sea creatures have different ways of camouflaging.

My Garden

May 18, 2018
Subheader: 

Living chocolate bunnies would be kind of gross, though.

I feel like it's going to give kids ideas that that kind of thing actually could happen. I understand that imagination is awesome, I do. But you can you can have a great imagination, and also have respect for the natural world and the hard work that people put into gardens and things like that.

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Message: 

A magic garden would be awesome. Or, imagination is cool.

I Stink!

May 16, 2018
Subheader: 

Not as good as the show.

Does New York City not have dumps? It's just strange. The garbage truck takes things to the barge instead. In my city they go to the dump. I did not know that garbage trucks were "dual op," with two sets of steering wheels, gas pedals and brakes. It's kind of refreshing that the book doesn't even try to rhyme. There's a lot of nice noises and things like that.

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Message: 

Garbage trucks are awesome.

Worm Loves Worm

May 14, 2018
Subheader: 

Good morning, how are you? I'm Dr. Worm. I'm interested in things.

It's not simply an LGBT positive message. It is also showing that just because things are traditional doesn't mean that they're right. And you can keep some aspects of tradition while changing the ones that you don't like. Because the important thing (in this particular case) is that Worm loves Worm.

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Message: 

Love transcends boundaries. Or, tradition can be fun, but don't let it stifle you.

The Lion and the Unicorn

May 11, 2018
Subheader: 

Things have a way of working out in the end.

So, yeah. It's well written. It's well drawn. I would say it's for older audiences, not for little kids, due to its subject matter and length. It deals with everything in a very respectful manner.

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Message: 

Even if you're going through tough times, you'll get through it okay. Everything will be better in the future.

Gorilla! Gorilla!

May 8, 2018
Subheader: 

But in reality, gorillas actually are dangerous.

You would think that sentient prey animals would be more aware of the different species that dwell in their vicinity, which ones are dangerous, and which aren't. Is she also afraid of parrots? Large frogs? Seriously, if there's a gorilla following you all around the freaking world but maybe you should try to figure out why.

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Message: 

Big, scary things just want to be your friend.

Tadpole's Promise

May 6, 2018
Subheader: 

Hm, I just grew legs. Whatevs.

Maybe it's like it's supposed to be a tragic love story that's got kind of a hint of poetic irony underneath it? This book upsets me. I do not like this book.

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Message: 

Lovers are doomed to eat each other. Or, you will destroy everything you love.

Jim's Lion

May 4, 2018
Subheader: 

When you wish upon a black person...

It's never stated where in "Africa" the woman is from. The only thing you ever learn about her is that she's a nurse (which is, don't get me wrong, a respectable profession). But she's basically the "Magical Negro" (TV Tropes). She's the vaguely different character who is more in touch with nature that helps the white person by giving him "deep spiritual wisdom" (TV Tropes). It's not okay to treat other cultures that way.

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Message: 

Black people have magic powers and will help you get through illnesses. Or, operations are scary and dangerous.

Mystery Bottle

May 2, 2018
Subheader: 

I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map...

Maybe the real story is that the grandfather sent a map, and the journey is metaphorical? It kind of makes me think that it's a fable that the author wrote for her son and her family, and then she thought it was really good so she published it. The art is fascinating and in a nice style. I'm not that impressed by the story because it's almost too personal for me to care about, but it's cute anyhow.

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Message: 

Family is important even if they're far away.

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