Introducing Teddy

October 13, 2018
Subheader: 

Good message, lackluster execution.

It's cute, but there's not a lot to it. I guess the subtitle, "A gentle story about gender and friendship," is a good description. Gentle, slow-paced, and brief.

Read more...
Message: 

It's okay to express the gender that you feel, even if that gender is not the way you externally appear.

Finding Santa: The Adventure of Greedy Elf

October 11, 2018
Subheader: 

Good try, but it needs more work.

I hope this doesn't discourage the author from being creative. She's clearly trying hard to make a labor of love, in contrast to the many books published by some publishing houses that just seem to be churned out with no care given to their quality. In our culture with our obsession with individuality and standing on our own, it can be hard to see that we need others' help, and it can be hard to let go of part of a creative vision and allow others to add input.

Read more...
Message: 

Elves can be mean, too.

Five Minutes' Peace

October 9, 2018
Subheader: 

Good for kids and parents, too.

I think that any mother of small children can identify with loving your children and wanting to be with them, but needing a break now and then. Of course, your children just want to be with you, because they love you, and you're the most entertaining thing in their lives. They want to read to you, and give you presents, but that's not what you need. You need "me time."

Read more...
Message: 

Although parents love their children, sometimes they need breaks.

My Body Belongs to Me

October 7, 2018
Subheader: 

Body autonomy for the win.

It has a really terrific message. I think it's very well executed. The artwork is decent. I mean, it's not going to win any awards, but it's self-consistent and clear what's going on in the pictures. The ambiguity in the child's gender is great, and he's also depicted as biracial. I love how it stresses that if someone touches you inappropriately, it's not your fault.

Read more...
Message: 

If somebody touches you inappropriately, it's not your fault. Tell someone you trust.

Death is Stupid

October 5, 2018
Subheader: 

Death is stupid. This book is not.

I'd have absolutely no problem reading this to my child if they were dealing with death. I probably wouldn't spring it on them out of nowhere, but I think it would be very helpful to children who had a loved one pass away, and help the parents open up conversation with the child about it.

Read more...
Message: 

Death is stupid, and here are some ways of dealing with it.

What Makes a Baby

October 3, 2018
Subheader: 

So determined to be inclusive that it forgets to be accurate or useful.

It's just so bizarre, the things that the author decides to include and the things that they decide to leave out. It's not very useful if all it does is tackle the easy part. If I bought this book hoping that it would help me explain sex to my children, I would be sorely disappointed. Because it does not do that. It provides an extremely brief overview of the biological components of making babies, and that's it. I respect their attempt to be inclusive of all genders, but their execution leads to distortion and confusion of statistically relevant facts.

Read more...
Message: 

Something something babies?

Who are You?

October 1, 2018
Subheader: 

As The Caterpillar said, "Explain yourself."

I feel like there's not enough here. What's here is good, but it's just so sparse. There's a lot of additional text for "grown-ups," but maybe that information should be part of the main text.

Read more...
Message: 

There's a bunch of different genders.

Frog and Toad are Friends

September 27, 2018
Subheader: 

Not as good as "Toot and Puddle."

The stories do show quite a bit of compassion from Frog to Toad. Toad is kind of the standard "Gloomy Gus" stereotype, sort of like Bert and Ernie, where Toad is Bert, and Frog is Ernie. Frog is more rambunctious and outgoing, trying to enjoy himself but still with an empathetic side (except when he lies to his friend about the month).

Read more...
Message: 

Various. It's okay to lie to your friends to avoid being lonely. Do nice things for others. It's okay to make fun of people for wearing ugly clothes. Stories are boring. Remind people that you enjoy their company.

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.

Read more...
Message: 

The people of Boston are nice to animals.

Blueberries for Sal

September 23, 2018
Subheader: 

Garumpf! Indeed.

Sal's mother is not nearly as upset as you would expect when she finds a bear in place of her daughter. Isn't she worried that her daughter has encountered a bear, and is possibly mauled? Nope. She just complacently looks for her.

Read more...
Message: 

Bear cubs and human children are similar. They both wander off and like to eat blueberries.

Pages