meh

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.

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.

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.

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale

July 11, 2018
Subheader: 

You're a nice person. Here, have a prince.

Why does nobody else tell Mufaro, "Hey, Manyara is a jerk"? Or is she only a jerk to Nyasha? The summary says "Everyone--except Mufaro--knew that Manyara was selfish, bad-tempered, and spoiled." How does he not know? I guess she's clever enough to hide how much of a jerk she is.

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Message: 

Be kind, and you'll be rewarded.

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!

There's a Monster in Your Book

July 19, 2018
Subheader: 

But why?

Yes, it's silly, but it doesn't really go anywhere, and for me the interaction with the monster and the shaking and everything is all more contrived than, say, Hervé Tullet's "Press Here". "Press Here" doesn't imply that there's an inherent reason that you're interacting with the book except for its own sake, which is cool. This book just says, "There's a monster. Let's get him out. No, never mind, let's put him back." It's definitely not bad; it's just that it doesn't make me care.

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Message: 

None.

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