You Don’t Want a Unicorn!

July 15, 2018
Subheader: 

Boys can like unicorns, too.

In this book, the narrator is constantly warning the boy from the beginning, and the boy doesn't listen and the narrator is clearly more knowledgeable about unicorns than the boy. So it's literally a wish, and he gets exactly what he asked for. It just turns out to be different from what he expected.

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Message: 

Be careful what you wish for.

Outside Over There

July 13, 2018
Subheader: 

These goblins and their weddings, amirite?

I really liked the relationship--the tenderness and compassion--from the older sister to the younger sister. Dealing with babies is hard. The mother's clearly mentally checked-out already.

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Message: 

Take responsibility for your actions.

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale

July 11, 2018
Subheader: 

You're a nice person. Here, have a prince.

Why does nobody else tell Mufaro, "Hey, Manyara is a jerk"? Or is she only a jerk to Nyasha? The summary says "Everyone--except Mufaro--knew that Manyara was selfish, bad-tempered, and spoiled." How does he not know? I guess she's clever enough to hide how much of a jerk she is.

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Message: 

Be kind, and you'll be rewarded.

The Story of Little Black Sambo

July 9, 2018
Subheader: 

Because there are so many tigers on the old plantations.

This book is only bad because of Helen Bannerman's original racist drawings and the names of the characters. The characters don't act in a particularly stereotypical way, and the message of the book isn't inherently bad. Clearly the story is set in India, and I don't know why Bannerman decided to draw the characters as awful stereotypes from the American South.

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Message: 

Black people have certain exaggerated features.

Creepy Carrots!

July 7, 2018
Subheader: 

Well, they're creeping, so I guess the title is accurate.

I'm honestly not sure what this book is trying to say. Maybe it's just trying to be a "scary" book without being a scary book. Like, funny-scary? It's just that the premise falls apart if you think about it for more than five minutes.

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Message: 

Don't eat carrots. Or, if you think you're being stalked by sentient vegetables, you probably are.

The Lonely Doll

July 1, 2018
Subheader: 

Every doll is lonely...

You can read all kinds of adult themes into this if you want to, but it's clear that the author did not intend them. This is just a children's book that is no longer in context. I can't ignore the creepiness, but walking through a dark hallway is creepy. But there's nothing inherently creepy about a dark hallway. It's just your own imagination that makes it that way.

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Message: 

Parents still love you, even when they get mad.

Things to Do with Dad

June 29, 2018
Subheader: 

No doubt more child-appropriate than "101 Uses for a Dead Cat".

My brain doesn't know how to interpret this book, so I suppose you can make of it what you will. But I prefer my children's books to be a little less up to interpretation, because unfortunately my brain has a tendency to go in directions that are probably not intended.

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Message: 

Stop slacking and play with your kids more.

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