good

The Crocodile and the Dentist

August 18, 2019
Subheader: 

There's a reason zookeepers usually use sedation.

I'm not crazy about this book, but I like the way the idea is presented: both of the characters feeling the same way about each other but being brave or not wanting to get angry. It seems like it would help children understand the concept of empathy, and the idea that 'he's just as scared of you as you are of him.'

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Message: 

Try to think about others' points of view, and understand how others are feeling.

Miles is the Boss of His Body

July 14, 2019
Subheader: 

Good but could have been better.

It definitely provides children with a character to emulate. It's not completely realistic, but I feel like it could have gone further. It's good, but it could have been better.

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Message: 

Everyone is in charge of their own body, and they shouldn't be forced to allow other people to do things to their body that they don't want to do.

It's the Best Day Ever, Dad!

May 5, 2019
Subheader: 

Good because of what it leaves to the imagination.

This is just a great day with the dad and the two kids. It's unclear where the mother is for most of the day, but there's no judgment of it. Perhaps she has a personal hobby. It's a great depiction of the father and the two daughters having fun together in a very wholesome way.

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Message: 

It's fun to hang out with your dad.

Don't Forget Dexter

March 17, 2019
Subheader: 

Cute story about a misplaced toy.

It really captures the emotions that people go through, especially kids, when they worry that they've been forgotten, with a pervasive humor and dinosaur-toy-specific details.

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Message: 

Favorite toys are important. Or, family who are separated will find each other.

Mirandy and Brother Wind

January 27, 2019
Subheader: 

Not sure whether I'd rather catch the wind or inherit it.

It's just this misunderstanding between friends. She thinks Ezel is telling her she can't do something, when he's really trying to suggest that they could dance together without saying it. And it turns out she dances with him because he's her friend and she doesn't want other people being mean to him. She sticks up for him and does the right thing.

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Message: 

Stick up for your friends.

Teddy’s Favorite Toy

December 16, 2018
Subheader: 

Doing the right thing is the least you can do.

The best thing about it is that his favorite toy is a doll, and absolutely nothing is mentioned about it being unusual. It's not the story of how some other character came to accept the fact that he's a boy who plays with dolls.

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Message: 

Moms are awesome and will do what is needed to help you.

The Wolves in the Walls

October 31, 2018
Subheader: 

Great book, just not for the younger crowd.

I really loved the fact that Lucy is not only the one who figures out what is happening before anybody else does, but challenges everybody else on why they are actually afraid of this. But it's never outright pointed out that there's no reason to be afraid of it, and even at the end when the wolves are shown running away from the house, the family brandishing their chair legs, it's still done in a creepy style, the wolves and people as silhouettes, with weird smoke in the sky and a dark house. The idea is great, the execution is great, it's just not for the fainthearted child.

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Message: 

Just because something is traditional, that doesn't mean it's right. And don't be afraid of wolves in the walls.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

October 29, 2018
Subheader: 

Let's try to understand each other a little bit more.

I think it's a great book, because it shows something that kids, like my four-year-old, would totally do. When he had a new pair of shoes, he walked into preschool telling everybody about them, even though we got there late and the teacher was talking to the other kids. He can't hold his enthusiasm inside, and that's an extremely common thing for kids. They have to learn respect for other people and their time, especially when others are trying to learn in a group context.

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Message: 

Making a mistake is not permanent. You can fix things that you did wrong. Or, when you're at school, you need to let the teacher talk without distracting the other children.

Jacob's New Dress

October 21, 2018
Subheader: 

100% terrific.

That is such an awesome, empowering ending! It's so realistic, because if you have somebody bothering you about that kind of thing, they're not going to magically transform their minds. Maybe in the future, Christopher will come to terms with it. Maybe he won't. But the important thing is that Jacob understands that it's not Christopher's choice what he wears. It's up to Jacob. It's his body, and his clothes. He's proud of the dress that he and his mother made together.

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Message: 

Anybody can wear any clothes that they want. Things are not reserved for people by gender.

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