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Battle Bunny

April 3, 2018
Subheader: 

I bet a lot of creative kids actually do this, too.

I love this book. It's just awesome. Quite often, I've been looking forward to a book based on the title and concept, only to be disappointed by the execution, but this book did not disappoint. I really enjoyed what they did with this book.

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Message: 

Make the most of what you've got.

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

March 27, 2018
Subheader: 

When you're a victim of discrimination, banging on the drums all day is a kind of work.

It's inspired by the true story of a Chinese-African Cuban girl, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, from 1932. The story is that a girl wants to play the drums, but where she lives, people believe that only boys should play drums. So she dreams about it and listens to the music and imagines herself playing music for a long time, and then eventually she just decides she's gonna play the drums and she plays them.

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Message: 

Don't give up on your dreams just because people say that they're unreasonable.

The Secret Life of Squirrels

February 11, 2018
Subheader: 

For a "secret" life, you have to admit it's pretty mundane.

It's definitely a unique book. You don't see a lot of pictures of live animals in different poses. This is the kind of thing that would normally be illustrated, but she took pictures and made a story out of what she could make pictures of. I really think that she would benefit from collaborating with somebody who could write well and come up with ideas for her to do.

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Message: 

Everything's better with a friend.

My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.)

January 17, 2018
Subheader: 

Teachers are people too. (Whacka-doo, whacka-doo, whacka-doo.)

When you're interacting with people in a prescribed setting, sometimes it's easy to forget and just treat them like automatons. But you have to remember that every person around you has the same kind of inner life as you do. Even if they don't have the same wants and desires as you, they still have wants and desires, and they're still worthy of respect.

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Message: 

Even if teachers sometimes act mean, they're human beings too.

Imogene's Antlers

January 13, 2018
Subheader: 

Life is easier when you make the most of what you've got.

It's just wonderful to see somebody being happy with their differences rather than being upset like so many other books. So much of reality is people being told, "You can't do that" or "You can't be that way," and this girl is just like, "I am that way, so deal with it. This is who I am now, and I'm proud of it."

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Message: 

Differences are something that can be celebrated.

Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?

October 14, 2017
Subheader: 

But if it's such a great pet, why is it being sold cheap?

It's really cute. I would think that most children wouldn't get the emotional bits and would just think it was a funny book about having a rhinoceros for a pet. And it is funny. There's definitely no bad message to this. I don't think a child would actually get the impression from this that rhinoceroses make good pets. It's more or less a book of imagination, whimsy, and nonsense, and Shel Silverstein is a master of all three.

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Message: 

None.

My Mama Says There Aren't Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things

October 18, 2017
Subheader: 

Maybe there aren't any ghosts, but there definitely are things.

I guess the lack of realism in the drawings of the monsters is what made this not as scary to me as a child, and that monsters were not really what I worried about. The realism of the story and the humanizing of the mother are really good.

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Message: 

Parents are human, too, but they really love you and want what's best for you.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?: Dr. Seuss's Book of Wonderful Noises!

October 12, 2017
Subheader: 

Onomatopoetic poetry.

There's nothing really to it. It's enjoyable and light. My kids enjoy making funny noises. Silly things are attractive to children. The imaginative, whimsical aspects of this book are great. There's no real message to it, but it might encourage children to use their imagination and be more descriptive of things.

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Message: 

None.

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