The Storm Book

July 26, 2020
Subheader: 

Don’t use it for scientific accuracy and you’ll probably be fine.

Come on. Rainbows don't have a purpose. And they don't always happen after a storm. They might even happen before a storm. You could even make one with a garden hose. And you can definitely have a storm that doesn't end with a rainbow, which raises the question of how this mother would know the storm was over.

Read more...
Message: 

Storms are pretty to look at.

The Happy Day

July 19, 2020
Subheader: 

I can’t figure out the point.

Animals do hibernate, but they don't hang out in large groups around whatever flower they can find. And I don't think anybody would argue that it's trying to be realistic in that sense. It's not trying to teach us anything scientific. It's just trying to make a silly story about animals and a flower and it's... boring. It's really boring.

Read more...
Message: 

Spring comes after winter.

Rain Drop Splash

July 12, 2020
Subheader: 

Doesn’t make much of a splash.

The length of time over which the book's events occur is very nebulous. How much of it is literal? Metaphorical?

Read more...
Message: 

Water flows from rain and down the mountains, and eventually ends up in the ocean.

Eddie the World’s Greatest Creature

July 8, 2020
Subheader: 

Creature Feature

It's a decent book. It's got an interesting idea, but the execution of the story could use a little work. It feels like it should offer some more reasons that he would want to be himself instead of this weird other animal. And it's unclear whether he's saying that he himself is the best animal, or that humans are the best animal.

Read more...
Message: 

Be yourself. Or, humans are the best animal.

Lumberjack and Friends to the Rescue!

April 27, 2020
Subheader: 

The plot needs rescuing.

He gets in an airplane and flies to Scotland to fix his aunt's roof. I'm not sure why he can't just send her money and hire someone in Scotland to help her. It'd probably be cheaper. Plus, he's a lumberjack. He cuts down trees; he doesn't fix roofs. He's not a roofer, that's a completely different job.

Read more...
Message: 

Sometimes people need their roofs fixed. Or, fly across the world to do minor chores for your loved ones.

Krista the Superhero

April 20, 2020
Subheader: 

Averagehero.

This was written by an eight-year-old. It's obvious that it was written by an eight-year-old. I believe that the writing is fairly typical for eight-year-olds, though my kids aren't that old yet so I don't have a lot to compare it to. It's definitely clear that it's written by a kid, and she doesn't have a very good concept of story structure yet. It starts off saying, "A girl named Krista have [sic] always wished to become a superhero. Could I become a superhero? She thought."

Read more...
Message: 

It's important to preserve the art of an eight-year-old.

Sing in Praise: A Collection of the Best Loved Hymns

March 15, 2020
Subheader: 

Children’s books were different back then.

It includes the actual scores to all of these, with words. For a child to like this book, they'd have to be very interested in the history of hymns. It's mildly interesting from a historical standpoint, but probably not to children of today.

Read more...
Message: 

Here's a list of hymns and some background information about them.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds

March 8, 2020
Subheader: 

Rather too large to be a dainty dish.

It's kind of interesting from a historical standpoint, but I'm really unsure whether this was ever intended for children.

Read more...
Message: 

It's important to remember all nursery rhymes.

Little Lost Lamb

March 1, 2020
Subheader: 

The metaphor breaks down when you examine it.

The shepherd is explicitly a boy, though it's not clear exactly how old he is. The sheep is an actual sheep, and not even a particularly useful one at that (black wool was less desirable). And I've read "Where the Red Fern Grows"-- I know that in a battle of dog vs. mountain lion, mountain lion usually wins.

Read more...
Message: 

Sheep are worth risking your life over.

Pages