I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words

October 16, 2017
Subheader: 

Poetic primer.

It's just a list of words. It's a rhyming list of words, so maybe that's a little bit entertaining. But there's nothing to it. There's no story. The rhyming is the only thing that could possibly keep your attention in this. It's decent rhyming, and decent meter, so what it's trying to do it does well, but in my opinion it's not trying to do enough, and comes off as disappointing.

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Message: 

None.

Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?

October 14, 2017
Subheader: 

But if it's such a great pet, why is it being sold cheap?

It's really cute. I would think that most children wouldn't get the emotional bits and would just think it was a funny book about having a rhinoceros for a pet. And it is funny. There's definitely no bad message to this. I don't think a child would actually get the impression from this that rhinoceroses make good pets. It's more or less a book of imagination, whimsy, and nonsense, and Shel Silverstein is a master of all three.

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Message: 

None.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?: Dr. Seuss's Book of Wonderful Noises!

October 12, 2017
Subheader: 

Onomatopoetic poetry.

There's nothing really to it. It's enjoyable and light. My kids enjoy making funny noises. Silly things are attractive to children. The imaginative, whimsical aspects of this book are great. There's no real message to it, but it might encourage children to use their imagination and be more descriptive of things.

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Message: 

None.

How I Learned Geography

October 6, 2017
Subheader: 

Don't know much about geography...

It's an autobiographical story. The author says he was about 4 or 5 when the map was first bought, and eventually he became a well-respected children's illustrator and writer.

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Message: 

Even a small thing can change your life and spark your passion.

The Story About Ping

October 5, 2017
Subheader: 

Duck, duck, abuse.

Nothing like this would be written today. It's just so a product of its time. Even back then, I think the message was: If your family is abusive to you, suck it up because home is where you belong. Nobody would write a book with that message nowadays!

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Message: 

It's better to be with your family even if they are physically abusive.

Many Moons

October 4, 2017
Subheader: 

When King Daddy promises the moon, he delivers.

It's kind of bad in that it turns out that none of them are really correct about the moon. It is super big and super far away, and they couldn't have really gotten it for him, but I think the real message is that everybody's opinion is equally important, even children.

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Message: 

Try to understand things from others' point of view.

The Hello, Goodbye Window

October 3, 2017
Subheader: 

I don't know why you say goodbye window, I say hello window.

There's no real story, just a series of events that happen when she visits her grandparents. It's kind of boring. I'm really not sure how something this banal came from the same author as The Phantom Tollbooth and The Dot and the Line, both fascinatingly weird stories.

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Message: 

It's fun to hang out with your grandparents.

In My Mother's House

October 2, 2017
Subheader: 

One little, two little, three little, poems by Native Americans...

It's kind of boring and really wordy for a little kid. It's interesting from an anthropological standpoint, but it's not gripping enough for a young child.

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Message: 

There is an interesting story behind being a Native American child.

Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile

October 1, 2017
Subheader: 

According to evolution, Mrs. Chicken is actually kind of right.

Why do stories where the clever person wins always seem to end up with the clever person lying, and the other person being phenomenally stupid?? Why does a trickster have to completely, full-on, lie? There's nothing clever about lying to an idiot.

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Message: 

Crocodiles are idiots.

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