bad

The Berenstain Bears: Blessed are the Peacemakers

April 26, 2018
Subheader: 

Contrived story, contrived ending, poor writing.

The best part: When Brother Bear and Sister Bear are breaking up the fight between the Nerds and the Troublemakers, Cousin Fred (a Nerd) gets involved. "'Let's remember what it says in the Bible,' said Cousin Fred who liked to memorize things. '"Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness."' 'Huh?' Said Too-Tall. 'What's that supposed to mean?' 'It means that if you make peace,' explained Ferdy, 'You will get a rich reward.' 'Oh, cool,' said Too-Tall." People don't talk like that. It's just awkward and bizarre.

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Message: 

Don't fight because the Bible says not to.

Nerdy Birdy Tweets

April 12, 2018
Subheader: 

Inaccurate, technophobic message only conveyed through sexism ex machina.

I'm getting tired of this message. "Social media is bad. Social media is taking over the world. We are neglecting our real friends in favor of social media. People who are on social media all the time cannot deal with real life."

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Message: 

Social media is bad. Social media friends aren't really your friends.

Little T Learns to Share (T. O.'s Time Outs)

January 9, 2018
Subheader: 

Sharing might be caring, but leave some room for independence.

The good part of the book is that Little T comes to the understanding on his own, and that nobody lectures him about sharing (well, until after he's decided it on his own). He realizes that he made a mistake, he goes back and rectifies the problem, and the reason that he starts to share is because he realizes that's what he wanted to do all along. But framing it as, "You need to always share every moment of the day," is just ridiculous. It's not going to work, either.

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Message: 

Always be sharing.

Geraldine's Blanket

December 22, 2017
Subheader: 

Jerk parents are jerks.

While I don't like the way the parents act in this book, I do like the child's solution to it. I guess some parents are like that. I'm not. It's definitely not a good book, but she's got a very creative solution to it that her parents are just bemused by. "Oh well, those kids and their blankets. What are you gonna do?"

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Message: 

You have to get rid of your favorite toy when you get older.

The King With Six Friends

November 30, 2017
Subheader: 

Not a terrible message, just sexist.

He paid the girl, and gave her a kiss of thanks. Great. This book is traditional in many ways, including one of which is its sexist nature. The king has no female friends. They are all male. The princess doesn't do anything in the story except get her hand in marriage won.

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Message: 

Good leaders are important.

What Do You Say, Dear?

November 3, 2017
Subheader: 

I have changed my mind on this.

I remembered really liking this book when I read it almost a year ago. But now that I look at it again, I'm frankly disappointed by the gender breakdown of the situations. The boy character gets to receive a pet baby elephant, rescue a princess from a dragon, portray a cowboy, be bitten by a dinosaur, be the groom at a wedding, attend the princess's ball, visit London to dine with the Queen, fly an airplane to visit the Duchess, and invite all his friends over for a party. The girl character gets to pick flowers, be rescued, be a nurse, go shopping, be the bride in a wedding, be a Princess, be a Queen, be a Duchess, and be captured.

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Message: 

Be polite.

The Story About Ping

October 5, 2017
Subheader: 

Duck, duck, abuse.

Nothing like this would be written today. It's just so a product of its time. Even back then, I think the message was: If your family is abusive to you, suck it up because home is where you belong. Nobody would write a book with that message nowadays!

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Message: 

It's better to be with your family even if they are physically abusive.

Loudmouth George and the Sixth-Grade Bully

January 16, 2017
Subheader: 

Wrong book is wrong.

That's not how you deal with a problem like that. You really need to get an adult involved. You don't want to end up in a situation where the bully is actually violent with you. There are only threats in this story, but kids aren't going to come up with the solution to bullying on their own. This whole book is a bad idea. Don't do this.

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Message: 

People will stop bullying you if you trick them into eating something yucky.

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