meh

Corduroy

September 3, 2018
Subheader: 

This must be a book! I think I've always wanted to review a book.

There's not much to it. There's no conflict. There's no character development. It's pretty basic. It's just like a fantasy of what a toy bear might do if he realized that he'd lost a button.

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Message: 

It feels good to be loved.

Tell Me About Sex, Grandma

September 1, 2018
Subheader: 

A case of style over substance.

This book barely skims the surface of the topic, but it skims it well. But it's not enough to answer the larger, underlying question of what sex actually is. It's incomplete, and it reads more like a meditation on the process of talking to children about sex than an actual instructive book. I would love to see a thorough, detailed book about sex written in this style. It drew me in through its conversational tone, but left me wanting something more substantial. The artwork is great, as well.

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Message: 

Sex is wonderful, but it's personal, and it's something that everybody involved has to agree to.

Super Duper Safety School: Safety Rules For Kids & Grown-Ups!

August 30, 2018
Subheader: 

Super duper disappointment.

I totally understand what she's trying to say, and it's an incredibly important message, but the writing and the illustrations are so bad that I just can't get past them. It's really disappointing, because I think a book would be very helpful in explaining this to my kids. But this is not that book, at least not for me. Maybe I need to write my own.

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Message: 

Watch out for tricky people because they are thumbs-down.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears

August 26, 2018
Subheader: 

Because pythons are paranoid and iguanas are grumpy.

Maybe the book is trying to say, "Don't tell lies," but the message that comes out is that people will blame you for things that are clearly not your fault. While this is a true message, it's not necessarily an ideal one.

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Message: 

People will blame you for things that are clearly not your fault.

The Incredible Ordinary Hero: or, The Brave Bystander

August 16, 2018
Subheader: 

I'm not sure the author knows what "bystander" means.

It's not much of a story. There's no real conflict or anything. I think it's important to teach your children how to deal with burns, but maybe it's also important to teach them fire safety in addition. But the most useful part of this book is those two pages which are about what to do (and what not to do) when someone gets burned.

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Message: 

Anybody can help others, and this is how to deal with minor burns.

Hank and Stella in: Something from Nothing

August 18, 2018
Subheader: 

Could be a bigger something from nothing.

It's a solid book, but I wasn't grabbed by the story. It's definitely well written. It's written in rhyme, and the meter and rhymes are very solid, but the story is somewhat contrived. The artwork is not stylistically amazing, but it's good enough not to be distracting, and the art style fits well with the story that's going on.

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Message: 

Here's how to do improvisation while you play.

Where Did I Come From?

August 12, 2018
Subheader: 

California. You came from California.

It's not a bad book. I don't think there's any misinformation in here, but it definitely could be improved upon. I'm searching for a book to give to my children when they get old enough (the time is fast approaching) and think I'm going to keep looking.

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Message: 

Babies are born when mommies and daddies make love and sperm find eggs.

What's the Big Secret?

August 10, 2018
Subheader: 

Could it be... cookies?

Parts of it feel sparse compared to other books. The information it does have is accurate, but I'm probably not going to use it to teach my kids. I would understand if other parents used it, though.

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Message: 

Boys and girls are different physically. They mature into men and women who can have babies together.

The Story of Little Babaji

August 8, 2018
Subheader: 

Lackluster story, beautiful illustrations.

It's definitely an improvement on the original "Little Black Sambo" by Helen Bannerman. They redrew it and renamed the characters to make it more obvious that the story takes place in India, so the little boy's name is now Little Babaji. Much, much better.

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Message: 

Fighting tigers makes you hungry.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

August 4, 2018
Subheader: 

Don't know much about biology. But I know more than Eric Carle, apparently.

And someone else pointed out to me that the butterfly wings are on upside down. He's not an airplane, he's a moth-- butterfly-- whatever. Butterfly and moth wings are wider on the top and narrower on the bottom. So either his wings are upside-down, or his whole body is upside-down in the picture and what everyone thinks is his head is actually his butt.

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Message: 

Caterpillars turn into butterflies?

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