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Amber Waiting

October 8, 2016

Sad book that seems more for parents.

I don't know who it's for. It certainly wouldn't make the kids feel any better about waiting.

Message

Don't make your kids wait after school.

Garth Pig and the Ice Cream Lady

October 9, 2016

Probably better than bacon-flavored ice cream.

It's just kind of a standard fairy tale type of story. The only reason to have the brothers and sisters coming to the rescue was to have the scene with the wolf riding the out of control ten-seater bicycle.

Message

Don't get into a stranger's van, even if they're selling ice cream.

The Bears' Christmas

September 29, 2016

Papa Bear fails in the snow.

Another inane older Berenstain Bear book where Papa tries to teach Small Bear things and just fails miserably at everything.

Message

Be careful in the winter.

The Berenstain Bears: We Love Soccer!

October 4, 2016

Do we love soccer? Who knows.

Maybe she just wants them to play harder and isn't giving them any real advice? Do they even have a coach? It's unclear why they're not having fun at first.

Message

“Having fun is what playing a game is all about.”

ABC

October 10, 2016

Idiosyncratic ABC book featuring mostly animals.

You would think that he could have thought of some kind of animal for V. This is just weird. It's a weird book. It's kind of arty. I don't know why it won a medal.

Message

Alphabet book.

The Art Room

October 11, 2016

Biography in story-poem form.

It's not an amazing book, but it's pretty. It's kind of light and not heavy-handed about anything.

Message

Art is cool.

Are We There Yet? A Journey Around Australia

October 13, 2016

Meanders around Australia.

It reminds me of when my parents want to show me the slides of their vacation. No thanks, Mom. No thanks, Dad. It's not nearly as interesting to me as it was to you.

Message

Australia is awesome.

The Bears' Vacation

October 6, 2016

Papa Bear is a hypocrite.

There's a "Do as I say, not as I do" thing happening here. It's not bad. It still definitely teaches good rules for the beach.

Message

Be careful when you're at the beach.

The Berenstain Bears Hug and Make Up

October 23, 2016

Unrealistic story, unrealistic expectations.

What. This makes no sense. Nobody acts like this. This is ridiculous. They're trying to get a message across, but they're doing it by depicting an unrealistic scenario.

Message

Be nice to your loved ones.

The Berenstain Bears Come Clean for School

October 25, 2016

The authors didn't care enough to write a story.

It feels like it should go somewhere as a story, but it doesn't. There's no story here. It's just a framing device for a lecture.

Message

Wash your hands, or you'll still be sick.