Caldecott Award Winner

Time of Wonder

September 8, 2019
Subheader: 

Time of wonder, book of boredom.

It just drags. It's not badly written, but like many old books, it's incredibly wordy and just goes on forever. It seems older than a book written in 1957.

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Message: 

Living on an island is fun.

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?

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.

Make Way for Ducklings

September 25, 2018
Subheader: 

If these duck parents would only make up their minds...

This is a bizarre book. Maybe it's more interesting if you live in Boston and actually know where these places are, but I've never actually been to Boston. And you can't expect ducks to be very intelligent, but this pair of ducks seems to be on the low end of the duck intelligence spectrum.

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Message: 

The people of Boston are nice to animals.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

September 13, 2018
Subheader: 

Good message, potentially scary story.

I just think it's potentially upsetting that the child turns into a rock and stays that way for a long time. His parents are distraught (although I suppose it would be worse if they weren't). Clearly in this universe, magic is extremely powerful and permanent. If it was something a little less drastic, and he didn't stay that way for almost a year, this would be a good book. I really love the scientific moment, and the message of appreciating what you have. Maybe when my kids are old enough to completely understand that magic isn't real, like at age seven or eight, I might read this to them.

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Message: 

Our loved ones and family are the most important things in our lives. Or, be careful what you wish for.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears

August 26, 2018
Subheader: 

Because pythons are paranoid and iguanas are grumpy.

Maybe the book is trying to say, "Don't tell lies," but the message that comes out is that people will blame you for things that are clearly not your fault. While this is a true message, it's not necessarily an ideal one.

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Message: 

People will blame you for things that are clearly not your fault.

The Snowy Day

July 23, 2018
Subheader: 

Everybody can have fun in the snow.

Nothing bad here, but nothing great. Groundbreaking for its time, but it didn't hold my attention at all. It's well-written and well-illustrated, but the story is pretty boring.

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Message: 

Playing in the snow is fun.

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

March 27, 2018
Subheader: 

When you're a victim of discrimination, banging on the drums all day is a kind of work.

It's inspired by the true story of a Chinese-African Cuban girl, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, from 1932. The story is that a girl wants to play the drums, but where she lives, people believe that only boys should play drums. So she dreams about it and listens to the music and imagines herself playing music for a long time, and then eventually she just decides she's gonna play the drums and she plays them.

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Message: 

Don't give up on your dreams just because people say that they're unreasonable.

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