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Amelia Bedelia

October 17, 2016

A bunch of jokes that aren't very funny.

I don't think kids would think of “trimming” as putting ribbons and stuff on something, like you trim a dress, I guess? Maybe it's just dated.

Message

Be specific. Or, if you make good pie, people will forgive anything else.

Who Will I Be, Lord?

October 16, 2016

Realistic yet enforces gender and class stereotypes.

Everybody's really lower class. Maybe that's good, because I guess there really isn't that much mixing of lower and upper class, so it's more realistic that way?

Message

You can be anyone you want to be.

No Haircut Today!

September 23, 2016

As the title says, nothing happens.

An ultra-short book which lives up to its title.

Message

Even when moms get mad at their kids, they still love them.

Seashore Story

September 26, 2016

Japan's version of the fairy realm.

The framing device for the story basically lampshades the fact that the story has a weird ending, which is even weirder.

Message

Don't forget about those who you love. The kids explicitly point out the moral in the book.

When Will the World Be Mine?

October 21, 2016

When Will This Book Be Over?

An odd way of thinking about things, and also really long and boring, especially for such a brief story.

Message

Everything is yours as much as you need it to be. Or maybe, don't take more of nature than you need? But it doesn't really say that. Maybe there is no message. It's complicated, like the relationship status on Facebook.

The Berenstain Bears and the Slumber Party

October 12, 2016

Went in one ear and out the other.

Mama Bear doesn't give Sister any actual advice or think about what kinds of situations she could get into, only tells her that she has "responsibility." What that responsibility is, is never mentioned. Is this like Spider-man? Is she supposed to catch criminals?

Message

You should behave yourself at a slumber party if your mother mentions the word “responsibility” without explaining what she means.

The Berenstain Bears and the Big Question

October 10, 2016

The Big Question deserves a better answer.

This is like answering the question of “Who's Grandpa Smith?” by saying, “I'm really glad we have nice silverware.”

Message

God made everything.

The Cabbage Princess

October 15, 2016

Prance, prance, I'm the Lord of the Forest!

Maybe the king needs to be taught a lesson, but The Lord of the Forest just gets to do whatever he wants because he's magical.

Message

Don't be a jerk or you might turn your daughter into a cabbage.

Seven Simeons: A Russian Tale

October 14, 2016

Too-long Russian fable about the handsome guy getting the girl.

I guess it's saved from being a bad book to read to kids by virtue of not really being a book to read to kids.

Message

If you're good looking, you can get away with anything. Or, women are property.

When Winter Comes

October 13, 2016

As bland as the snow.

Very repetitive. I certainly couldn't read this to my kid because it would drive me crazy.

Message

Descriptive. None.