Super Duper Safety School: Safety Rules For Kids & Grown-Ups!

August 30, 2018
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Super duper disappointment.

I totally understand what she's trying to say, and it's an incredibly important message, but the writing and the illustrations are so bad that I just can't get past them. It's really disappointing, because I think a book would be very helpful in explaining this to my kids. But this is not that book, at least not for me. Maybe I need to write my own.

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Message: 

Watch out for tricky people because they are thumbs-down.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears

August 26, 2018
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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.

Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue

August 24, 2018
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As the title of another book says, children are delicious.

It's just goofy in a way that makes me think of "A Very Special House" (also illustrated by Maurice Sendak). It parodies other moralizing stories where the child is a brat from the beginning and gets his comeuppance, realizing that maybe he should be nicer to people.

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Message: 

It's important to care about some things.

Strega Nona

August 22, 2018
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More like, "Underneath spaghetti."

So he disobeys her, but she doesn't punish him cruelly for it. His "crime" doesn't deserve death. The only person he really wronged in this case is Strega Nona, because it was her pot.

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Message: 

Don't be vindictive. Or, don't take things without permission.

Rumpelstiltskin

August 21, 2018
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I wish this fairy tale would never be heard from again.

How she planned on keeping up this charade isn't discussed. Sure, the king happens to stop at three rooms full of gold for unknown reasons, but what if he had continued? What horrible things would the miller's daughter be forced to trade away?

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Message: 

Life sucks unless you're the one in charge (especially if you're a woman). Good luck, you'll need it to escape the capricious whims of the powerful.

Hank and Stella in: Something from Nothing

August 18, 2018
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Could be a bigger something from nothing.

It's a solid book, but I wasn't grabbed by the story. It's definitely well written. It's written in rhyme, and the meter and rhymes are very solid, but the story is somewhat contrived. The artwork is not stylistically amazing, but it's good enough not to be distracting, and the art style fits well with the story that's going on.

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Message: 

Here's how to do improvisation while you play.

The Incredible Ordinary Hero: or, The Brave Bystander

August 16, 2018
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I'm not sure the author knows what "bystander" means.

It's not much of a story. There's no real conflict or anything. I think it's important to teach your children how to deal with burns, but maybe it's also important to teach them fire safety in addition. But the most useful part of this book is those two pages which are about what to do (and what not to do) when someone gets burned.

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Message: 

Anybody can help others, and this is how to deal with minor burns.

It's Not the Stork!

August 14, 2018
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It's not the stork. Maybe it's a penguin?

The only drawback I found in this book is its lack of mention of transgender or intersex people. This is otherwise a very thorough book. It's got cute little illustrations, but they're usually fairly realistic. At the beginning, it just says that girls and boys can do the same things, but girls and women have a vagina, and boys and men have a penis, and there's other things that are different.

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Message: 

Where babies come from. Also, don't let anybody touch you in a way you don't want them to.

Where Did I Come From?

August 12, 2018
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California. You came from California.

It's not a bad book. I don't think there's any misinformation in here, but it definitely could be improved upon. I'm searching for a book to give to my children when they get old enough (the time is fast approaching) and think I'm going to keep looking.

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Message: 

Babies are born when mommies and daddies make love and sperm find eggs.

What's the Big Secret?

August 10, 2018
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Could it be... cookies?

Parts of it feel sparse compared to other books. The information it does have is accurate, but I'm probably not going to use it to teach my kids. I would understand if other parents used it, though.

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Message: 

Boys and girls are different physically. They mature into men and women who can have babies together.

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