meh

My Princess Boy

August 2, 2018
Subheader: 

If girls can wear pants, boys can wear dresses.

Another book with a great concept, but lacking in execution. I love that this book exists. It's definitely not a bad book. I just feel like they could have done so much more with this.

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Message: 

People can wear whatever they want.

Sparkle Boy

July 31, 2018
Subheader: 

Sparkle, sparkle, little boy.

I don't find this realistic, and I don't find the change in the older sibling meaningful. They aren't accepting the behavior because of its inherent harmlessness (or even benefits), they are merely switching sides, like they're the only one allowed to insult their sibling.

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Message: 

It's okay for boys to wear sparkly dresses.

Heather Has Two Mommies

July 29, 2018
Subheader: 

The only interesting thing about it is the title. And someday, even that won't be interesting.

It's one of those books whose mere existence is important. It's a revolutionary book concept, but the book itself is just okay.

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Message: 

Children with two mommies are just like any other child.

The Lonely Doll

July 1, 2018
Subheader: 

Every doll is lonely...

You can read all kinds of adult themes into this if you want to, but it's clear that the author did not intend them. This is just a children's book that is no longer in context. I can't ignore the creepiness, but walking through a dark hallway is creepy. But there's nothing inherently creepy about a dark hallway. It's just your own imagination that makes it that way.

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Message: 

Parents still love you, even when they get mad.

Creepy Carrots!

July 7, 2018
Subheader: 

Well, they're creeping, so I guess the title is accurate.

I'm honestly not sure what this book is trying to say. Maybe it's just trying to be a "scary" book without being a scary book. Like, funny-scary? It's just that the premise falls apart if you think about it for more than five minutes.

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Message: 

Don't eat carrots. Or, if you think you're being stalked by sentient vegetables, you probably are.

Why Am I Me?

July 27, 2018
Subheader: 

Why anything, really?

It feels pretentious, and it doesn't say anything. I guess it's pretty. That's what the people quoted on the back seem to be raving about: how pretty it is. I'm just lost. I can't get anything out of this book except the message, "People are different."

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Message: 

Different people are different.

Madeline

July 25, 2018
Subheader: 

Not sure how this book kicked off a series. Not enough to read in 1939?

It's more annoying than anything else. It doesn't do anything for me. It's not imparting any knowledge to me. It's not interesting. It's just fairly mediocre, and the art is not very well done in my opinion.

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Message: 

Appendicitis is fun!

The Snowy Day

July 23, 2018
Subheader: 

Everybody can have fun in the snow.

Nothing bad here, but nothing great. Groundbreaking for its time, but it didn't hold my attention at all. It's well-written and well-illustrated, but the story is pretty boring.

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Message: 

Playing in the snow is fun.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

July 21, 2018
Subheader: 

Because when I think of goblins, I think of Hanukkah.

For all its talk about the power of the menorah, almost all the references to Hanukkah could really be swapped out with any kind of magical system and the story would be basically the same. When I teach my children about Hanukkah, I'll use a different method, because I prefer to stick to the facts of a culture. If this was like a traditional Jewish folktale, that might be different.

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Message: 

Goblins are easy to fool. Or, Hanukkah is totally awesome.

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