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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.

How I Learned Geography

October 6, 2017
Subheader: 

Don't know much about geography...

It's an autobiographical story. The author says he was about 4 or 5 when the map was first bought, and eventually he became a well-respected children's illustrator and writer.

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Message: 

Even a small thing can change your life and spark your passion.

Many Moons

October 4, 2017
Subheader: 

When King Daddy promises the moon, he delivers.

It's kind of bad in that it turns out that none of them are really correct about the moon. It is super big and super far away, and they couldn't have really gotten it for him, but I think the real message is that everybody's opinion is equally important, even children.

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Message: 

Try to understand things from others' point of view.

Dragon Dancing

May 12, 2017
Subheader: 

The best thing about dragons is nobody can tell you you're making them look wrong.

It's just kids having fun together and making something bigger than they are and playing with it, and having fun with their imaginations.

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Message: 

Dragons are awesome.

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