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Abraham Lincoln

November 12, 2016

The man. The myth. The legend.

How true is the story that he had three gingerbread men and gave two of them to a demanding little fat boy? It's weird, and I'm not sure what it implies.

Message

Abraham Lincoln is awesome.

If All the Seas Were One Sea

November 12, 2016

If all the french fries were one french fry...

I guess it's a nursery rhyme. It's a very meandering hypothetical that doesn't go anywhere or have any kind of relation to reality. Everything about this book is weird.

Message

None.

America's Ethan Allen

November 12, 2016

TL;DR.

Despite winning a Caldecott Honor, this book is far too long and wordy to read to a child. It's 96 pages long, and the illustrations are mostly in the margins. This is really a novella-length biography, not a picture book. So it's not just wordy, but very long.

Message

Unknown.

Is This a Baby Dinosaur?

November 10, 2016

Is that a sheep? Nope! It's a cloud! They're totally different!

I wanted to like it, but it ended up being formulaic and irritating. The whole thing is either taking pictures of common things from an unexpected angle or pictures of uncommon things and saying, "Hey! This looks kind of like something totally different! But it's not! Psych!"

Message

Sometimes things look like other things.

Dance

November 10, 2016

Hey, Mom! Look at me! I'm dancing!

The text kind of seems like something a little kid would say, and that's probably what he's going for as an author. But since it's all pictures of him, it makes it seem a lot more egotistical than it has to be.

Message

Dancing is awesome.

How to Catch an Elephant

November 10, 2016

Fun with optics! Or something!

This is the weirdest, most surreal book. After some antics with cake and raisins, you're supposed to look through the telescope backwards so the elephant is tiny, and then pick it up with the tweezers. And that's it. Okay...? It's basically a long, drawn-out illustration of a surreal joke.

Message

None.

Little Clam

November 10, 2016

Teenage mutant ninja... clams.

Basically, the clam is in trouble, doesn't listen to anybody else, and then suddenly develops supernatural powers to get himself out of the situation. If that's not a deus ex machina, I don't know what is. But everybody's okay! Nobody dies!

Message

Don't worry about listening when you're in danger, because everything will work out okay.

All Around the Town

November 10, 2016

Well written but terribly dated.

I'd say the quality is comparable to Dr. Seuss's ABCs, but with no nonsense words. Everything's pretty straightforward, with things that kids-- of the time-- would actually encounter. Some things that kids would still encounter. But you know, there's not a lot of organ grinders nowadays.

Message

None.

Bambino the Clown

November 10, 2016

Hey kid, want to come back to my place and see my sea lion?

It's interesting, but definitely not a modern-style kids book. It's not a bad message and wouldn't upset a child, but it's too long. And it's not popular nowadays to like clowns.

Message

Try to make people happy.

Fortune Cookies

November 10, 2016

Fortune cookies != magic.

It makes it seem like fortune cookies are real, but it doesn't explicitly say that. Instead of saying her fortune came true, it just says, "And guess what?" But the message basically boils down to fortune cookies being real.

Message

Fortune cookies are real, as far as I can tell.