meh

William's Doll

December 9, 2018
Subheader: 

Not as good as it probably used to be.

This book was probably great for its time (1972). I think it's a bit outdated in execution, although the message still resonates today. This book was at the beginning of teaching people about the topic, and it deserves some historical credit for that.

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Message: 

There's nothing wrong with boys wanting dolls.

The Daddy Book

December 2, 2018
Subheader: 

Pretty run-of-the-mill Todd Parr.

It's nothing to run out and buy unless you're starved for books about daddies, and I think there are a lot of those out there. It's the kind of thing that would fit right in at a pediatrician's office: bland, rather inclusive, and inoffensive.

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Message: 

There are lots of different kinds of daddies.

Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry

November 25, 2018
Subheader: 

Describes the problem, but offers no real solutions.

I'm conflicted about this book. I haven't been around anybody with untreated bipolar disorder (which, according to the author's note, is what this book is supposed to depict the mother as having), but given some anecdotal evidence from friends, the mother's behavior is not very common for those who suffer from bipolar, and seems more like someone suffering from drug or alcohol addiction.

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Message: 

Some parents have mental illness.

Making Animal Babies

November 18, 2018
Subheader: 

Useful for animals, not for people.

I guess you could technically use this to describe where babies come from to a kid but that doesn't seem to be its purpose. It spends so much time discussing other things that aren't relevant to human sexuality that either the writer was just really interested in different types of animal reproduction (I mean, it is mildly interesting that sponges, say, reproduce by budding), or was intentionally trying to obscure the information about people. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and just assume he was a reproductive biologist.

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Message: 

Different animals reproduce in different ways.

The Gruffalo

October 25, 2018
Subheader: 

Nobody's as gruff as a gruffalo.

As in most "trickster tales", it relies on the "tricked" characters being complete idiots. For me, this doesn't paint the trickster as clever or intelligent, just lucky and dishonest. If the mouse wasn't trying to save his own life, this would have a bad message, but as it is, it's just middle-of-the-road. It's perfectly reasonable to lie to somebody to save your own life.

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Message: 

People who try to hurt you are stupid, and will fall for obvious tricks.

Who Has What?: All About Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies

October 27, 2018
Subheader: 

Doesn't tackle the hard questions.

It doesn't talk about, or even leave room for transgender or intersex people. It's really basic. It takes the entire book to basically only say: 'Girls have vaginas, ovaries, and uteruses, and boys have penises and sperm.' That's it. That is the only information you can get from this book.

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Message: 

Boys and girls have different bodies.

Amazing You

October 23, 2018
Subheader: 

Not enough here to be useful.

It's not really helpful. It's just not useful to anybody having a complex discussion. I mean, yeah, preschoolers are going to understand it, but there's important things you need to be discussing with preschoolers in addition to this-- People not touching them inappropriately and similar ideas, because you need to really talk about that before it might happen.

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Message: 

Boys and girls have different bodies, and different parts of them are used in making babies somehow.

Everyone Poops

October 19, 2018
Subheader: 

Surprisingly boring.

I am attempting to not encourage that sort of humor in my children. I'm not trying to discourage it, but I'm also trying to make sure that they're not ashamed of the fact that they poop. I guess if a child had a shameful association with defecation, maybe this would be a useful book to them. It's very factual.

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Message: 

Everyone poops.

10,000 Dresses

October 15, 2018
Subheader: 

Good message, spotty execution.

It may be unfortunate that it needs to be more obvious, but I think that it's important that Laurel be explicitly recognized as somebody who is doing the right thing and not just kind of be assumed to be doing the right thing because she's at the end of the book.

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Message: 

Sometimes a person who has the body of a boy feels like she is a girl instead. Or, everyone should be accepted for who they are inside.

Introducing Teddy

October 13, 2018
Subheader: 

Good message, lackluster execution.

It's cute, but there's not a lot to it. I guess the subtitle, "A gentle story about gender and friendship," is a good description. Gentle, slow-paced, and brief.

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Message: 

It's okay to express the gender that you feel, even if that gender is not the way you externally appear.

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