bad

Donkey-Donkey

November 15, 2018
Subheader: 

Unfortunate-Unfortunate.

This book would be much better (although still probably not an amazing book) if Donkey-Donkey found his own inner strength at the end in accepting his ears the way they were at the beginning. Maybe even found some benefit to holding them that way, or their length, instead of just finding problems with every other way and defaulting to the original because 'that's what donkeys do.' Or maybe he could have found some crazy way of holding his ears that nobody else did, and become a local attraction. I don't know.

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Message: 

Rely on others to validate your self-worth.

Miss Nelson is Missing!

November 1, 2018
Subheader: 

Miss Nelson is too feminine to be assertive.

What it boils down to is, don't have respect for people who treat you kindly. The only two opinions the children can have for the teacher are disrespect, or fear. Really, the best relationship between an adult and a child is for them to have mutual respect and understanding of the other's position. It's obviously a lot harder for children to understand the position of the adult.

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Message: 

To get people to listen to you, you have to be nasty and threatening.

What Makes a Baby

October 3, 2018
Subheader: 

So determined to be inclusive that it forgets to be accurate or useful.

It's just so bizarre, the things that the author decides to include and the things that they decide to leave out. It's not very useful if all it does is tackle the easy part. If I bought this book hoping that it would help me explain sex to my children, I would be sorely disappointed. Because it does not do that. It provides an extremely brief overview of the biological components of making babies, and that's it. I respect their attempt to be inclusive of all genders, but their execution leads to distortion and confusion of statistically relevant facts.

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Message: 

Something something babies?

Tikki Tikki Tembo

September 5, 2018
Subheader: 

Tikki Tikki? No. No.

If the mother were punished for her callous treatment of her children, especially the youngest, then maybe her behavior would act as an anti-example. But as it is, with no repentance or personal consequences (only her eldest son suffers for it), I don't want this read to my kids. I don't want her behavior modeled for them. I don't want them to worry I'll ignore them if they fall down a well, or treat them differently based on their age alone. And I don't want them to feel that either of them is worthless. Not even in a relative sense.

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Message: 

Chinese people are exactly like Japanese people, except with stupid (nonexistent) traditions. Also, among siblings, only the oldest son is important and everybody else is basically disposable.

Rumpelstiltskin

August 21, 2018
Subheader: 

I wish this fairy tale would never be heard from again.

How she planned on keeping up this charade isn't discussed. Sure, the king happens to stop at three rooms full of gold for unknown reasons, but what if he had continued? What horrible things would the miller's daughter be forced to trade away?

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Message: 

Life sucks unless you're the one in charge (especially if you're a woman). Good luck, you'll need it to escape the capricious whims of the powerful.

The Story of Little Black Sambo

July 9, 2018
Subheader: 

Because there are so many tigers on the old plantations.

This book is only bad because of Helen Bannerman's original racist drawings and the names of the characters. The characters don't act in a particularly stereotypical way, and the message of the book isn't inherently bad. Clearly the story is set in India, and I don't know why Bannerman decided to draw the characters as awful stereotypes from the American South.

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Message: 

Black people have certain exaggerated features.

The Hole Book

June 21, 2018
Subheader: 

Gun safety? What gun safety?

The more I think about this book and the more I learn about it, the worse it gets. On the other hand, I could see an updated version of this book becoming mildly popular. Maybe someone bounces a bouncy ball and it keeps going? It doesn't need to be a gun.

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Message: 

Don't worry about guns; they won't hurt you.

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.

Jim's Lion

May 4, 2018
Subheader: 

When you wish upon a black person...

It's never stated where in "Africa" the woman is from. The only thing you ever learn about her is that she's a nurse (which is, don't get me wrong, a respectable profession). But she's basically the "Magical Negro" (TV Tropes). She's the vaguely different character who is more in touch with nature that helps the white person by giving him "deep spiritual wisdom" (TV Tropes). It's not okay to treat other cultures that way.

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Message: 

Black people have magic powers and will help you get through illnesses. Or, operations are scary and dangerous.

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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