William Steig

Amos and Boris

March 31, 2019
Subheader: 

Somewhere on the good side of "meh."

"I don't have to tell you how these old friends felt at meeting again in this desparate situtation." Okay, technically, Mr. Steig, you don't. But you also didn't have to write this book. You're a writer, for Pete's sake. Write.

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Message: 

Be kind and help others.

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

September 13, 2018
Subheader: 

Good message, potentially scary story.

I just think it's potentially upsetting that the child turns into a rock and stays that way for a long time. His parents are distraught (although I suppose it would be worse if they weren't). Clearly in this universe, magic is extremely powerful and permanent. If it was something a little less drastic, and he didn't stay that way for almost a year, this would be a good book. I really love the scientific moment, and the message of appreciating what you have. Maybe when my kids are old enough to completely understand that magic isn't real, like at age seven or eight, I might read this to them.

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Message: 

Our loved ones and family are the most important things in our lives. Or, be careful what you wish for.

The Amazing Bone

December 29, 2016
Subheader: 

Bones are people-- er, pigs-- too.

So, yeah. Very deus ex machina ending there, coming out of nowhere. We have a bone and talking animals, and the bone is magic and can imitate sounds, and all of a sudden it can cast spells. But it doesn't know how it knows the spells, or what spells it knows. It apparently only casts them in times of great distress.

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Message: 

Be nice to magic talking bones and they'll be nice back.