meh

A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns

May 22, 2018
Subheader: 

A boring of lists.

The page for "A bevy of beauties" is kind of sexist: it depicts a bunch of women and girls from the rear (multicultural, though!) wearing leotards and tights like they're in a ballet class. I'm pretty sure I've heard the word bevy used for quail or something. I've never heard it used for people.

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Message: 

Collective nouns exist, and here are some of them I know arranged at random.

How to Hide an Octopus and Other Sea Creatures

May 20, 2018
Subheader: 

Pretty average, mostly accurate.

But for the most part, as far as I know, this is pretty accurate. Octopi and cuttlefish actually do change their color in the way that chameleons are thought to do in popular culture, and then all the other fish that she mentions are just naturally constantly camouflaged.

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Message: 

Various sea creatures have different ways of camouflaging.

My Garden

May 18, 2018
Subheader: 

Living chocolate bunnies would be kind of gross, though.

I feel like it's going to give kids ideas that that kind of thing actually could happen. I understand that imagination is awesome, I do. But you can you can have a great imagination, and also have respect for the natural world and the hard work that people put into gardens and things like that.

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Message: 

A magic garden would be awesome. Or, imagination is cool.

I Stink!

May 16, 2018
Subheader: 

Not as good as the show.

Does New York City not have dumps? It's just strange. The garbage truck takes things to the barge instead. In my city they go to the dump. I did not know that garbage trucks were "dual op," with two sets of steering wheels, gas pedals and brakes. It's kind of refreshing that the book doesn't even try to rhyme. There's a lot of nice noises and things like that.

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Message: 

Garbage trucks are awesome.

Gorilla! Gorilla!

May 8, 2018
Subheader: 

But in reality, gorillas actually are dangerous.

You would think that sentient prey animals would be more aware of the different species that dwell in their vicinity, which ones are dangerous, and which aren't. Is she also afraid of parrots? Large frogs? Seriously, if there's a gorilla following you all around the freaking world but maybe you should try to figure out why.

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Message: 

Big, scary things just want to be your friend.

Mystery Bottle

May 2, 2018
Subheader: 

I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map...

Maybe the real story is that the grandfather sent a map, and the journey is metaphorical? It kind of makes me think that it's a fable that the author wrote for her son and her family, and then she thought it was really good so she published it. The art is fascinating and in a nice style. I'm not that impressed by the story because it's almost too personal for me to care about, but it's cute anyhow.

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Message: 

Family is important even if they're far away.

Duck's Key Where Can it be?

April 30, 2018
Subheader: 

Froggies be crazy, yo.

I can't figure out why this frog is just tormenting this duck. Did he do something to his parents or something like that? Is he responsible for some kind of embarrassment in the past? It's not just that he's annoying the crap out of him. He never even ends up revealing that he was the one that put Duck through this, and Duck just ends up feeling like he solved the problem on his own. It's just bizarre.

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Message: 

When you can't find something, it's probably being hidden from you for no apparent reason by a small frog.

Hosie's Alphabet

April 28, 2018
Subheader: 

Unusual is not necessarily good.

This is a weird book. I guess it's for people who are fans of the illustrator, Leonard Baskin. He has a very distinctive style and it's different from most other children's books.

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Message: 

None, just an alphabet book.

Nobody Likes a Goblin

April 18, 2018
Subheader: 

Nobody likes a lackluster review, either.

I don't understand this book. It's clearly a picture book, but it seems more aimed at adults who are into Dungeons and Dragons or related games or video games. I don't think most children would get it.

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Message: 

Everybody deserves friends.

Look!

April 14, 2018
Subheader: 

I needed this book about as much as a hole in the... book.

The general concept is interesting but they didn't do anything interesting with it. There are interesting ways of using a book that was made in this way but this book does not work that way, and frankly I'm disappointed by it.

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Message: 

Stop reading and look at the world around you instead? Or, the world around you is interesting.

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