Peppe the Lamplighter

March 2, 2017
Subheader: 

No son of mine will be helping people get home in the dark!

Sometimes grownups are stubborn, but sometimes they realize that they made the wrong decision and change their minds. It's a difficult thing for everybody involved, but it does happen and it's good.

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Message: 

Don't be ashamed of what you do. As long as you're helping people, you have something to be proud of.

Fables

March 1, 2017
Subheader: 

An apple in time saves before you leap.

The crocodiles are living in a house with wallpaper that is integral to the story. There's a baboon with an umbrella. Since the traditional Aesop's fables take place in ancient Greece, these are an interesting update to the formula. It's nontraditional to have camels wanting to be ballerinas.

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Message: 

Multiple messages, one per story.

When I was little : a four-year-old's memoir of her youth

February 21, 2017
Subheader: 

Know-it-all four year old.

The ending is kind of sappy. "When I was little I didn't know what a family was. When I was little I didn't know what dreams were. When I was little I didn't know who I was. Now I do." I still don't know who I am, and I'm in my 30s. Still working on that one, Jamie Lee Curtis. Still working on that one.

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Message: 

You get to do a lot more fun things when you're older than you did when you were a baby.

Sleep Like a Tiger

February 20, 2017
Subheader: 

That's a pretty big catnap.

Of course, she falls asleep, but it's very nice how the parents give her the option as long as she stays in bed. Which is a reasonable thing to do for kids, and matches well with my parenting style. It's very well written and doesn't have a strong message but the message it has is good.

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Message: 

Everything in the world sleeps.

Hawk, I'm Your Brother

February 18, 2017
Subheader: 

Yeah, because we all keep our siblings in cages.

It really doesn't need to be a Native American story. It kind of makes me think a little bit of "My Side of the Mountain", except apparently this kid fails at raising a hawk. Baylor's text just goes on and on, using far more words than necessary to tell this story.

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Message: 

Don't kidnap wild animals, I guess?

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

February 17, 2017
Subheader: 

Back at it again with the white shoes!

It seems to have been a song before it was a book, and it certainly isn't great literature. It's not very interesting and the repetition would bore me if I had to read it more than once.

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Message: 

“No matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song... because it's all good.”

First the Egg

February 7, 2017
Subheader: 

Doesn't even attempt to answer the “which came first” question.

There's no story line, really, it's just playing with artistic holes in paper and what appears to be oil paints. It doesn't seem intended to be educational, just a series of paintings that are all interconnected. It's one of those books that would be better as an art installation than a book.

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Message: 

None.

Tico and the Golden Wings

February 6, 2017
Subheader: 

A bit like the Rainbow Fish, but with its own issues.

The nice things that he does for other people reward him by changing his outward appearance to a form that others will accept. It's so bizarre. It's like he has to earn the ability to fit in. It's difficult to tell whether it's saying that fitting in is good or not. It's hard to understand this book.

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Message: 

Either help others less fortunate than you, or people won't accept you unless you fit in.

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