Kate Greenaway Award Shortlisted

The Wolves in the Walls

October 31, 2018

Great book, just not for the younger crowd.

I really loved the fact that Lucy is not only the one who figures out what is happening before anybody else does, but challenges everybody else on why they are actually afraid of this. But it's never outright pointed out that there's no reason to be afraid of it, and even at the end when the wolves are shown running away from the house, the family brandishing their chair legs, it's still done in a creepy style, the wolves and people as silhouettes, with weird smoke in the sky and a dark house. The idea is great, the execution is great, it's just not for the fainthearted child.

Message

Just because something is traditional, that doesn't mean it's right. And don't be afraid of wolves in the walls.

Jim's Lion

May 4, 2018

When you wish upon a black person...

It's never stated where in "Africa" the woman is from. The only thing you ever learn about her is that she's a nurse (which is, don't get me wrong, a respectable profession). But she's basically the "Magical Negro" (TV Tropes). She's the vaguely different character who is more in touch with nature that helps the white person by giving him "deep spiritual wisdom" (TV Tropes). It's not okay to treat other cultures that way.

Message

Black people have magic powers and will help you get through illnesses. Or, operations are scary and dangerous.

The Tale of the Monstrous Toad (AKA Toad)

February 23, 2018

Anti-toad propaganda.

It's not very educational. It's not a very long story. It's just too simplistic. Most of it is pretty boring and mundane.

Message

Some toads taste disgusting.

The Dark

February 4, 2017

Who are you in the dark?

It's basically an interesting personification of the dark as something to be respected but not feared. A force of nature, really. It's personified as something which is helpful, nice, and a little bit misunderstood. Not as scary as it first seems.

Message

Respect darkness but don't fear it.

Russell the Sheep

January 10, 2017

Clever illustrations, not much substance.

Not really a very interesting story. It's got cute pictures. It's kind of silly. But I'm not that impressed with the writing. There's definitely no message. It's just a very strange book and not very useful.

Message

None.

Always and Forever

December 8, 2016

Always remember the good times.

It's a really good depiction of what it's like to lose someone. There's nothing religious to it, nothing existential, just a very relatable depiction of the pain you feel when someone dies.

Message

You don't have to forget those who died in order to live your life. You can keep the memory of them alive.

Albert the Bear (AKA Albert Le Blanc)

October 18, 2016

Toys can be sad too. Or not.

Instead of just complaining to the bear that he looks sad, they actually try to cheer him up. They're clearly all well-meaning about it.

Message

People aren't always sad even if they look sad. Or, don't jump to conclusions based on how someone looks.