Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine

February 3, 2019

Or maybe "moonshine" is like "moonlight."

Maybe the father should have been clearer. Maybe she should have an additional adult helping take care of her. And where are Thomas's parents? Why do they let him drive around the island on his bicycle? Couldn't she go stay with them? This is just a weird book, and I'm not sure how applicable the message is to children nowadays.


Lying can cause very naive people to get killed.

The Rough-Face Girl

January 20, 2019

Mildly interesting.

It's the standard 'older siblings mean to younger sibling, younger sibling wins in the end' story that's all over the world, like Cinderella from Europe or Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters from Africa. It's unclear why RFG's father lets her sisters treat her so terribly. And in Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, at least the younger daughter gets tested on her personality, and not her weird ability to see invisible things. As usual, the younger girl gets rewarded by marrying the best guy because that's what girls want.


Don't be haughty and don't lie to people? Or, make sure you can see invisible things.

Little Mamá Forgets

January 13, 2019

Unrealistic, or highly unusual, memory loss.

She seems to remember things that are important to the granddaughter. Which is rather inconsistent with the forms of memory loss that I'm familiar with. She forgets that the granddaughters name is Lucy, not Luciano (which is Little Mamá's name). Why would she call someone else by her own name? Maybe it's Lucy's mother's name, too? I feel like I have to make a lot of excuses for this book to make sense.


When you lose your memory as you age, you lose things kind of randomly and sporadically.

Ten Big Toes and a Prince's Nose

January 6, 2019

Forced rhymes, cliché story.

I was disappointed by this book. I was hoping based on the summary that it would be more interesting, rather than just, 'Hey these people met and fell in love and then they're happy.' It wasn't clever. It wasn't inventive. It was pretty run-of-the-mill. A good message, but not interesting enough to hold my attention.


Don't judge people by their appearance.

Each Kindness

December 30, 2018

Missed opportunity is more dramatic than actual reformation.

"The Hundred Dresses" is almost identical in storyline to "Each Kindness." All the kids make fun of a poor girl, and at the end, the girl moves away and the main character is depressed by what happened. Basically, the main characters need to see someone else suffer in order to grow, and they don't realize the opportunity they had until it's gone.


Be nice to people for niceness's sake. Or, you never realize how much of a jerk you were until after the fact.

William's Doll

December 9, 2018

Not as good as it probably used to be.

This book was probably great for its time (1972). I think it's a bit outdated in execution, although the message still resonates today. This book was at the beginning of teaching people about the topic, and it deserves some historical credit for that.


There's nothing wrong with boys wanting dolls.

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals

December 23, 2018

Tries too hard to be funny, and doesn't quite deliver.

I'm definitely in support of all books that try to take the parent into account. If this book entertains parents enough to want to read it to a pre-verbal child, I think that's great. But overall, I was not that impressed by it. It's not great, it's just okay.


Baby, you are loved.

The Daddy Book

December 2, 2018

Pretty run-of-the-mill Todd Parr.

It's nothing to run out and buy unless you're starved for books about daddies, and I think there are a lot of those out there. It's the kind of thing that would fit right in at a pediatrician's office: bland, rather inclusive, and inoffensive.


There are lots of different kinds of daddies.

Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry

November 25, 2018

Describes the problem, but offers no real solutions.

I'm conflicted about this book. I haven't been around anybody with untreated bipolar disorder (which, according to the author's note, is what this book is supposed to depict the mother as having), but given some anecdotal evidence from friends, the mother's behavior is not very common for those who suffer from bipolar, and seems more like someone suffering from drug or alcohol addiction.


Some parents have mental illness.

Making Animal Babies

November 18, 2018

Useful for animals, not for people.

I guess you could technically use this to describe where babies come from to a kid but that doesn't seem to be its purpose. It spends so much time discussing other things that aren't relevant to human sexuality that either the writer was just really interested in different types of animal reproduction (I mean, it is mildly interesting that sponges, say, reproduce by budding), or was intentionally trying to obscure the information about people. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and just assume he was a reproductive biologist.


Different animals reproduce in different ways.