Robert Lawson

The Story of Ferdinand

September 19, 2018
Subheader: 

How disturbing this book is depends on the reader's knowledge of bullfights.

What what the heck? How did this book and the story that it tells become so popular? I vaguely remember the 1938 Disney animated short. It was only published two years prior to that, in 1936, and it shows. The writing is very simplistic, and it feels so rhythmically slow compared to modern books, with the exception of the ones written for very little children.

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Message: 

Some people like to smell flowers, and that's okay. You don't have to be violent.

Wee Gillis

November 26, 2016
Subheader: 

Insert joke involving bagpipes, cows, and deer.

The style of the illustrations isn't very modern but they're pretty. There's not much to it. It's just another book where somebody turns out to have hidden talents they weren't expecting to have.

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Message: 

Put your strengths to use. Or, don't be prejudiced against your neighbors.

They Were Strong and Good

September 22, 2016
Subheader: 

Quick review.

Review: 

"[T]here were Indians in Minnesota--tame ones." "One time he came to the town where my father's mother lived and fought Satan there." "When my father was very young he had two dogs and a colored boy." Wow. 1940 was a very different time. Oh, I see why it won an award. *Two* dogs died. Basically the story of the author's parents and grandparents. The interesting part is what he chooses to include.

Message: 

Everyone has an interesting story.