meh

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

February 21, 2021

You’d think the queen would get a new mirror eventually.

It's pretty faithful to the standard Grimm story, as far as I remember. Not a great story, but not really the opposite of something children should be taught. The pedophile/necrophile prince throws up some red flags, and murder via boogie isn't a common thing lately, but I'm pretty sure nobody is advocating to their children that they "be more like Snow White" so it's more about how the story is viewed today in context.

Message

Be really pretty, and everybody will take care of you even if you're an idiot.

Hello Lighthouse

February 14, 2021

You say goodbye, I say hello lighthouse.

I think it would have been more interesting had she picked like a specific event of somebody in the lighthouse and went into more detail about the person and the lighthouse itself.

Message

Lighthouses are really cool, and lighthouse keepers used to be very important.

Do Little Mermaids Wet Their Beds?

February 1, 2021

I do believe in mermaids! I do, I do!

I don't think it'll hurt a kid to read this book, but I don't think it'll help. I can't say much bad about it-- it's just weird.

Message

Even mermaids wet their beds.

Who’s Inside That Hat?

February 7, 2021

I’m too witchy for my hat, too witchy for my hat, pointy, pointy hat!

The story could have used some better editing to fix the meter and rhyme, and it'd be nice if Anika didn't just 'feel silly' but actually recognized how harmful her actions could have been, and apologized. Little things that wouldn't have been that difficult to do, but the author chose not to.

Message

Don't judge somebody by their looks. Or, your neighbor is probably not a witch.

Fran Kay Stine Had No Friends Until...

December 22, 2020

Everyone feels like a monster, someti-i-imes…

This book was given to me by the author to review. That is, they asked for this. I can tell the author tried, at least. It's not a bad book. It's not a poor book. It's just kind of there.

Message

Misfits have to stick together.

The Life and Times of Fuzzy Wuzzy

December 14, 2020

Live your fuzziest life.

It's somewhat charming in its own way, but it takes the one thing I think kids like about the rhyme and strips it out. The writing is pretty good, the meter of the poetry is usually good though it trips up a few times. It's got a good message, although I'm not sure how strongly it conveys it.

Message

Don't let others define you by what you're lacking.

Paddle-to-the-Sea

November 1, 2020

Snoozefest with decent art.

It's just really, really long, and nowadays kids don't have the patience for something quite this boring. It just makes me think of how I don't enjoy reading realistic fiction for fun because it doesn't have enough action for me. Maybe it's just me, but it's so very far from modern children's books that it seems like a stodgy distant ancestor.

Message

Water from the snow eventually reaches the sea. Also, people are generally helpful.

Marshmallow

October 25, 2020

A fluff of a book.

It's cute, but there's not much to it. The poetry is silly. It's just kind of a middle-of-the-road book.

Message

Rabbits make good pets.

Journey Cake, Ho!

September 27, 2020

Journey Cake, Huh?

It seems like fairy tales have a strange fascination with runaway pastries. I understand why Johnny's chasing it: he's poor and hungry, and it's his to begin with. But why are all the animals so fascinated by it? They can barely tell what it is.

Message

Sometimes poor children have to go make their own lives? Or, Everybody loves pastry.

Bear Came Along

October 18, 2020

Bear came along. And then he went.

I know, people tell me in the comments all the time that I read too much into children's books. But I'm not sure where this one is coming from. The author's note afterwards seems to imply that it's about taking a chance and seeing what happens, and being bold, but that that's not really what's happening in the book.

Message

Take a chance and see what happens?