Baby Can

November 24, 2017
Subheader: 

But a baby is too big to fit in a can...

I think it's important for older siblings to understand that the reason that adults do that is because the younger sibling previously couldn't do those things. It's not that people are saying that there's anything inherently special about being able to sit up, but that there's something special about this person sitting up. And while it's important to pay as much attention to both siblings, just patronizing the older child and feigning interest in their ability to do things like sit up isn't really a good long term solution.

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Message: 

Older children can do the same things babies can do.

The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen

November 22, 2017
Subheader: 

Published in 2014, the heyday of hula hooping.

She says that her neighbor is like a grandma to her, and took care of her mother when her mother was little, and then took care of her when she was little, and all this girl does is hula hoop. How did her neighbor not know that she hula hoops? And how did her neighbor not tell her that she also hula hooped as a kid? And now I have semantic satiation with the phrase "hula hoop" which is like the goofiest phrase in the world.

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Message: 

Own up to your mistakes and everything will turn out okay in a deus ex machina kind of way.

Houses from the Sea

November 20, 2017
Subheader: 

My shells, let me show you them.

Shells are cool, but these kids are basically obsessed with them. One of the last pages says, "When friends come in/to play on rainy days/we show them all our shells./We tell their names,/just where we found them,/and all about the day/the waves ran up to meet us." These children must be the most boring people to hang out with! "You want to look at my shells again??" No, no I don't want to look at your dang shells! Don't they like, play? Like normal children? "Shells... shells... would you like to look at my shells?"

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Message: 

Shells are the most amazing things ever.

Henry-Fisherman

November 18, 2017
Subheader: 

Meesa not understand purpose of dialect.

The text is super boring. Despite the massive amount of text, there's no character development. The characters don't show emotion. There's nothing for the reader to identify with. "This happened." "Sometimes Henry does this." "On these other days, Henry does this." Just not interesting.

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Message: 

Responsibility comes with age.

Barkis

November 14, 2017
Subheader: 

Not to be confused with Challah bread.

The massive amount of text is rather overwhelming, though. In a spread, the right side might be a puppy, and nothing else. A fairly good picture of a puppy, a spaniel of some kind. Not photorealistic or anything, but definitely identifiable as a puppy. Cute. And the left side is just this wall of text. Given that it was published in 1938, we've come a long way as far as children's literature is concerned.

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Message: 

Take care of animals when they're young because the world is a dangerous place.

The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree

November 12, 2017
Subheader: 

I'll trim your tree, if you know what I mean. And I don't.

It's a pretty inane and simple lift-the-flap book. I feel children of an age where they would still be interested in lift-the-flap books would also be tearing the books apart. But maybe my kids are more destructive than average children. The story is basically just a vehicle for the lift-the-flap gimmick. There's nothing to it; there's no message; nobody learns anything; nothing happens.

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Message: 

Decorating Christmas trees is fun.

The Berenstain Bears: The Very First Christmas

November 10, 2017
Subheader: 

Have yourself a Beary little Christmas.

They have their own Bear Jesus? The world of the Berenstain Bears gets weirder and weirder as time goes on, and as Mike Berenstain builds on the legacy of his parents in a more and more Christian way. Especially given that at least one of the earlier books had a fox creature. Do the fox people have Fox Jesus? Or are they a lesser race that has to settle for the Jesus of another species?

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Message: 

This is the story of Christmas.

Giraffes Can't Dance

November 8, 2017
Subheader: 

Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance!

Taking this message literally, it is completely untrue. Taking the message figuratively, I guess it's saying that you need to find your own unique place in life? I'm not even sure. "Don't make fun of people"?

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Message: 

Giraffes can too dance!

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