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.


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

Thank you, Oge!

This is an "own voices" book (the author is from Nigeria), and it's a really sweet story.


Be generous and other people will want to be generous in return.

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.


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

A fluff of a book.

It's cute, but there's not much to it. The poetry is silly. It's just kind of a middle-of-the-road book.


Rabbits make good pets.

Journey Cake, Huh?

It seems like fairy tales have a strange fascination with runaway pastries. I understand why Johnny's chasing it: he's poor and hungry, and it's his to begin with. But why are all the animals so fascinated by it? They can barely tell what it is.


Sometimes poor children have to go make their own lives? Or, Everybody loves pastry.

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.


Take a chance and see what happens?

It must be hard to initial things.

This clearly is not my culture and as a young child growing up in the culture, either she would already know the answer to this (in which case she wouldn't be asking this question) or she merits a more thorough explanation. Maybe she's supposed to be a really young kid and it's supposed to not matter.


Names can be something that ties you to your family history.

Like “Heather Has Two Mommies” for transgender people.

I know there are going to be people who are going to look at my review and go, "You're such an SJW, yadda yadda", as if accepting that transgender people are actually their mental gender instead of their physical gender is a political position instead of a moral responsibility, but I think this book really works.


Transgender people are different, but that's okay. Being different from others is good.

Full of “quiet joy, love, and beauty”.

In and of itself, it's a really pretty story that has gorgeous illustrations. As a bonus, it's also what those in children's literature call "Own Voices", meaning that it's written about Asian people, by an Asian person. But that's icing on the cake, and the book stands on its own as a good book, with a good message.


Your family loves you even if you make mistakes.

I’m imagining it with better art.

It's not a terribly compelling story, but I can see the good message behind it, about the power of imagination, and trying to see things from others' point of view. And I like the concept, which is that the author took a story that was told by his highly imaginative preschool-aged son, and polished it up to make it into a full book.


Imagination is fun.