Maybe Tomorrow

January 4, 2021
Subheader: 

Possibly useful to get parents to open up.

It just seems so weird that you wouldn't tell your kid about Covid. Is the culture that different in the Phillipines, where the book was published? It's written to be applicable to anywhere you have apartments and doctors. Do they not have Kindergarten? Because that's one major reason my six-year-old knows about Covid: he had to stop going to school in person, and start doing Zoom calls.

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Message: 

Tell your children about things because sometimes they're too scared to ask themselves. Or: Covid-19 sucks.

The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy

December 14, 2020
Subheader: 

Live your fuzziest life.

It's somewhat charming in its own way, but it takes the one thing I think kids like about the rhyme and strips it out. The writing is pretty good, the meter of the poetry is usually good though it trips up a few times. It's got a good message, although I'm not sure how strongly it conveys it.

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Message: 

Don't let others define you by what you're lacking.

The Undefeated

November 29, 2020
Subheader: 

I can’t speak for others, but I think it’s a great book.

Clearly, clearly we need books like this. But I feel almost like I don't have the right to talk about this book. And if I were famous, and I had a large platform, this is the sort of thing where I should turn over my platform to people of color to give their own interpretations of this book. But I'm still a relatively unknown reviewer, and I don't have much of a platform to speak of. So my own opinion is that it's very well-written, and the art is top notch. It seems very powerful to me, an outsider, and I hope it comes across that way to most black people as well. It's a wonderful, beautiful book. And the problem with relating to it is all my own.

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Message: 

There are a lot of powerful figures to look up to in black history, and young people in the black community can look back and take inspiration from those figures in their effort towards true equality.

Song of Robin Hood

November 22, 2020
Subheader: 

It’s pretty, but it’s not a kids’ book.

Everybody who made this put so much thought into it, and it's a beautiful book. But the 115 page book is enormous, and it shouldn't be marketed as a children's book. It's really a scholarly work.

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Message: 

It's important to preserve cultural heritage such as Robin Hood.

The Rough Patch

November 15, 2020
Subheader: 

We all go through rough patches.

It's about the death of a beloved pet, and discusses the whole cycle of grief. It's a very poignant book, very powerfully done. And the illustrations are just gorgeous, which is icing on the cake.

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Message: 

Grief takes time to work through, but you will come out the other side.

Paddle-to-the-Sea

November 1, 2020
Subheader: 

Snoozefest with decent art.

It's just really, really long, and nowadays kids don't have the patience for something quite this boring. It just makes me think of how I don't enjoy reading realistic fiction for fun because it doesn't have enough action for me. Maybe it's just me, but it's so very far from modern children's books that it seems like a stodgy distant ancestor.

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Message: 

Water from the snow eventually reaches the sea. Also, people are generally helpful.

Bear Came Along

October 18, 2020
Subheader: 

Bear came along. And then he went.

I know, people tell me in the comments all the time that I read too much into children's books. But I'm not sure where this one is coming from. The author's note afterwards seems to imply that it's about taking a chance and seeing what happens, and being bold, but that that's not really what's happening in the book.

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Message: 

Take a chance and see what happens?

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