Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

December 27, 2016
Subheader: 

You would think he would be too short to see over the wheel anyway.

It's fun because it's interactive, but the only problem is, if you have a contrarian kid who decides to say yes, it doesn't work. Other than that, it's fun, and as the book says, it allows the little kid to say "no" and be more or less rewarded for it, which is kind of good because toddlers like to say "no" to many things despite not being in control.

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Message: 

None.

I Am a Backhoe

December 20, 2016
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Trucks and trucks and trucks and trucks and... MORE TRUCKS

I guess a kid who likes trucks might enjoy the book, but the language is so basic and there's so little of it there, and the art doesn't really make up for it, that it would get annoying to read to a kid repeatedly.

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None.

A Beach Tail

December 21, 2016
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Leave him alone and he'll come home, drawing a tail behind him.

I mean, I've got nothing against books. Obviously, this is a book, and I read it, and reading is great, but you kinda need to keep an eye on kids, especially in a place as big and dangerous as a beach. So it's very realistic, but I wouldn't want to give kids the wrong idea, that it's okay to wander off at the beach.

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Message: 

As long as you follow the letter of the rules, the spirit doesn't matter.

Always and Forever

December 8, 2016
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Always remember the good times.

It's a really good depiction of what it's like to lose someone. There's nothing religious to it, nothing existential, just a very relatable depiction of the pain you feel when someone dies.

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Message: 

You don't have to forget those who died in order to live your life. You can keep the memory of them alive.

Little Clam

November 30, 2016
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Teenage mutant ninja... clams.

Basically, the clam is in trouble, doesn't listen to anybody else, and then suddenly develops supernatural powers to get himself out of the situation. If that's not a deus ex machina, I don't know what is. But everybody's okay! Nobody dies!

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Message: 

Don't worry about listening when you're in danger, because everything will work out okay.

How to Catch an Elephant

November 30, 2016
Subheader: 

Fun with optics! Or something!

This is the weirdest, most surreal book. After some antics with cake and raisins, you're supposed to look through the telescope backwards so the elephant is tiny, and then pick it up with the tweezers. And that's it. Okay...? It's basically a long, drawn-out illustration of a surreal joke.

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Message: 

None.

Dance

December 1, 2016
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Hey, Mom! Look at me! I'm dancing!

The text kind of seems like something a little kid would say, and that's probably what he's going for as an author. But since it's all pictures of him, it makes it seem a lot more egotistical than it has to be.

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Message: 

Dancing is awesome.

Country Fair

December 2, 2016
Subheader: 

Watching the text play across the page.

There's not a lot to it, but it doesn't seem like it's trying to be more than it is. It kind of has a dreamlike quality to it, as the words swirl around the pages, and the images are almost like sketches rather than full-on realism.

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None.

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