The Berenstain Bears: Blessed are the Peacemakers

April 26, 2018
Subheader: 

Contrived story, contrived ending, poor writing.

The best part: When Brother Bear and Sister Bear are breaking up the fight between the Nerds and the Troublemakers, Cousin Fred (a Nerd) gets involved. "'Let's remember what it says in the Bible,' said Cousin Fred who liked to memorize things. '"Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness."' 'Huh?' Said Too-Tall. 'What's that supposed to mean?' 'It means that if you make peace,' explained Ferdy, 'You will get a rich reward.' 'Oh, cool,' said Too-Tall." People don't talk like that. It's just awkward and bizarre.

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Message: 

Don't fight because the Bible says not to.

The 12 Sleighs of Christmas

April 24, 2018
Subheader: 

More like vehi-cools, amirite?

The mad science-style engineering (with entire vehicles designed and assembled within a few days) is acceptable, since you're working with elves and magic. The creativity is really cool, even though it's not necessarily rewarded in the expected manner. Everyone just enjoys the process and results. I think they avoided the idea of the old ways being more comfortable and not to avoid the new, and the message ends up being more like, "Creativity is awesome."

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Message: 

Creativity is awesome.

Pandora

April 22, 2018
Subheader: 

A beautifully dreamlike book.

Somehow I missed the fable part of it, because a fable usually has a moral. There's a stunning beauty to the illustrations, and a subtle message about helping other people, working together, and the power of nature. It's vague but positive.

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Message: 

Be kind to others.

One Day, The End.: Short, Very Short, Shorter-Than-Ever Stories

April 20, 2018
Subheader: 

Once upon a time, I wrote a review. I lived happily ever after.

It's a very playful, imaginative book, and you know most of the stuff that happens is the kind of thing that might happen to a young girl going through her day or in the different parts of her life. I really like how the author and illustrator team worked together here, and I'd love to see some behind-the-scenes information on how they did it! What did the author tell the illustrator beyond the words on the page? I really enjoyed this book.

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Message: 

So much more happens in a story beyond the words.

Nobody Likes a Goblin

April 18, 2018
Subheader: 

Nobody likes a lackluster review, either.

I don't understand this book. It's clearly a picture book, but it seems more aimed at adults who are into Dungeons and Dragons or related games or video games. I don't think most children would get it.

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Message: 

Everybody deserves friends.

Lucía the Luchadora

April 16, 2018
Subheader: 

Could give Jack Black a run for his money.

I really like the message of equality and female empowerment, and how it doesn't say that girls are better than boys, just not to discriminate against people because they're girls. As females, if it takes us hiding who we are for people to notice us, then maybe we need to do that temporarily, but it's important to also show who you truly are to help others. I really enjoyed the book.

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Message: 

Girls can be whatever they want to be.

Look!

April 14, 2018
Subheader: 

I needed this book about as much as a hole in the... book.

The general concept is interesting but they didn't do anything interesting with it. There are interesting ways of using a book that was made in this way but this book does not work that way, and frankly I'm disappointed by it.

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Message: 

Stop reading and look at the world around you instead? Or, the world around you is interesting.

Nerdy Birdy Tweets

April 12, 2018
Subheader: 

Inaccurate, technophobic message only conveyed through sexism ex machina.

I'm getting tired of this message. "Social media is bad. Social media is taking over the world. We are neglecting our real friends in favor of social media. People who are on social media all the time cannot deal with real life."

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Message: 

Social media is bad. Social media friends aren't really your friends.

Lily's Cat Mask

April 11, 2018
Subheader: 

If she gets the rest of the outfit, she could be a superhero.

Like I said, what's there is good. I really enjoy the interaction between Lily and her father and the way that she uses the mask to hide in circumstances that would be definitely uncomfortable for people who have moderate social anxiety (or shyness, as the book calls it). A lot of other reviewers seem to really like this book. I think maybe they're seeing something I'm not, because I wouldn't say it was groundbreaking or amazing, but it's a good book.

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Message: 

Sometimes people are shy? You can't wear masks in school?

Life

April 9, 2018
Subheader: 

Profoundly moving in a positive direction.

Wow, this book was really cool. It's a very hopeful book, in a very realistic way. It just talks about how life starts small and grows, and that different animals like different things because anywhere in the world there's always something to love and something to protect. There's always something beautiful somewhere. Even if you're going through a dark stretch in life, just know that everything is changing all the time.

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Message: 

Everything keeps changing, life keeps growing, and that's good.

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