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.


Be kind, and you'll be rewarded.

These goblins and their weddings, amirite?

I really liked the relationship--the tenderness and compassion--from the older sister to the younger sister. Dealing with babies is hard. The mother's clearly mentally checked-out already.


Take responsibility for your actions.

Boys can like unicorns, too.

In this book, the narrator is constantly warning the boy from the beginning, and the boy doesn't listen and the narrator is clearly more knowledgeable about unicorns than the boy. So it's literally a wish, and he gets exactly what he asked for. It just turns out to be different from what he expected.


Be careful what you wish for.

Poor kid should've drawn a map.

It's an adventure book, and it's a kind of a testament to the power of imagination, the power of curiosity and bravery. I think it's a great book. It's very simple. It has kind of a high number of pages, but they don't have that many words, and the words aren't long.


Imagination is awesome.

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.



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.


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

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.


Playing in the snow is fun.

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.


Appendicitis is fun!

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."


Different people are different.

What? Just... what? This-- I can't even-- Wow.

I think the message that people are getting from it, at least from the first half of the book, is "Don't let your misfortunes get you down." The back of the book has this quote: "'I may have been swallowed,' said the duck, 'but I have no intention of being eaten.'" But if that was the real message, then they absolutely would not want to stay in the stomach of the wolf at the end. The most accurate message I can get from the book is: "People in bad situations become so acclimated to them that it doesn't seem bad to them anymore." They actually start to like it, as in Stockholm Syndrome.


The life of a parasite is awesome?