The Ugly Duckling

May 26, 2018
Subheader: 

I don't think most people know what the story really says.

Who gets to decide what's beautiful? Because I would imagine that swans find cygnets beautiful. It's just that he's in the wrong company for his beauty to be recognized. Why do humans even think swans are pretty, and why does the ugly duckling give a fig whether humans think he's pretty?

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Message: 

Being pretty is more important than anything else in the world.

Chickens Aren't the Only Ones

May 24, 2018
Subheader: 

The wonderful world of eggs.

The biggest issue that I have with this book is the first few sentences that spread across the first three pages. "CHICKENS laid the eggs you buy, the eggs you boil or fry or dye! or leave alone so you can see what grew inside naturally." No, that's not how you hatch a chicken.

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Message: 

Different kinds of animals lay eggs.

A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns

May 22, 2018
Subheader: 

A boring of lists.

The page for "A bevy of beauties" is kind of sexist: it depicts a bunch of women and girls from the rear (multicultural, though!) wearing leotards and tights like they're in a ballet class. I'm pretty sure I've heard the word bevy used for quail or something. I've never heard it used for people.

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Message: 

Collective nouns exist, and here are some of them I know arranged at random.

How to Hide an Octopus and Other Sea Creatures

May 20, 2018
Subheader: 

Pretty average, mostly accurate.

But for the most part, as far as I know, this is pretty accurate. Octopi and cuttlefish actually do change their color in the way that chameleons are thought to do in popular culture, and then all the other fish that she mentions are just naturally constantly camouflaged.

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Message: 

Various sea creatures have different ways of camouflaging.

My Garden

May 18, 2018
Subheader: 

Living chocolate bunnies would be kind of gross, though.

I feel like it's going to give kids ideas that that kind of thing actually could happen. I understand that imagination is awesome, I do. But you can you can have a great imagination, and also have respect for the natural world and the hard work that people put into gardens and things like that.

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Message: 

A magic garden would be awesome. Or, imagination is cool.

I Stink!

May 16, 2018
Subheader: 

Not as good as the show.

Does New York City not have dumps? It's just strange. The garbage truck takes things to the barge instead. In my city they go to the dump. I did not know that garbage trucks were "dual op," with two sets of steering wheels, gas pedals and brakes. It's kind of refreshing that the book doesn't even try to rhyme. There's a lot of nice noises and things like that.

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Message: 

Garbage trucks are awesome.

Worm Loves Worm

May 14, 2018
Subheader: 

Good morning, how are you? I'm Dr. Worm. I'm interested in things.

It's not simply an LGBT positive message. It is also showing that just because things are traditional doesn't mean that they're right. And you can keep some aspects of tradition while changing the ones that you don't like. Because the important thing (in this particular case) is that Worm loves Worm.

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Message: 

Love transcends boundaries. Or, tradition can be fun, but don't let it stifle you.

The Lion and the Unicorn

May 11, 2018
Subheader: 

Things have a way of working out in the end.

So, yeah. It's well written. It's well drawn. I would say it's for older audiences, not for little kids, due to its subject matter and length. It deals with everything in a very respectful manner.

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Message: 

Even if you're going through tough times, you'll get through it okay. Everything will be better in the future.

Gorilla! Gorilla!

May 8, 2018
Subheader: 

But in reality, gorillas actually are dangerous.

You would think that sentient prey animals would be more aware of the different species that dwell in their vicinity, which ones are dangerous, and which aren't. Is she also afraid of parrots? Large frogs? Seriously, if there's a gorilla following you all around the freaking world but maybe you should try to figure out why.

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Message: 

Big, scary things just want to be your friend.

Tadpole's Promise

May 6, 2018
Subheader: 

Hm, I just grew legs. Whatevs.

Maybe it's like it's supposed to be a tragic love story that's got kind of a hint of poetic irony underneath it? This book upsets me. I do not like this book.

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Message: 

Lovers are doomed to eat each other. Or, you will destroy everything you love.

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