105 Ways to Give a Book

Cranky MotherReader

You know, I have three, maybe four things a year that I really look forward to. Things for which I cannot be sick. And yet, with the Kidlitosphere Conference merely two days away, I have a stuffy-nosed cold. I’m going, don’t worry about that, but I’m kinda irritated that I’m all sniffles as I prepare to meet and greet lots of bloggers and authors.

Since I’m feeling rather cranky, it felt like a good time to pull out these notes I wrote on a couple of picture books that didn’t please me. A little mean-spirited? Yeah, probably.

Where's My Darling Daughter?Where’s My Darling Daughter? by Mij Kelly

Maybe this is a laugh riot for kids, but I could not enjoy this picture book of a dad who has “misplaced” his daughter in his baby backpack and searches for her for the whole book. Maybe if she were a baby, a baby who couldn’t tell him where she was. Maybe if he didn’t portray that doofus daddy thing. Maybe if it weren’t the whole, whole book. I also was not crazy about the “almost” rhymes — cot and shock, pen and end — especially when mixed with actual rhymes. So which is it, are you trying to rhyme or not? There is also an awkward feel to the reading. So are you trying to keep the same reading rhythm or not? An annoying book in so many ways.

I'm Big EnoughI’m Big Enough, by Amber Stewart

Bunny is big enough to not carry her blankie around, but she still does it. Her family suggests that she could try doing things without her blankie, but in a overreacting moment, Bean the bunny makes a plan in case her family decides to take her blanket away. (Ohmigod, what kind of awful rabbits are these?) I have to admit that I like the name: She calls it the “Keep Blankie Forever Plan.”

She hides it in a hollow log and then can’t find it for bedtime. She has to sleep without it, even though it’s tough for a while. She looks for the blankie for a while too, but eventually forgets about it. One day, a long time later, she sees her blankie with a baby fox. “Bean looked at the tiny baby fox and knew now that her mommy was right — she really was much to big for her blanket.” This strikes me the wrong way. I can see that she needs to stop carrying the blankie around, but what’s wrong with her having one? I didn’t like the message in the book, and since that’s really all there was to it other then some cute watercolored bunnies, I didn’t like the book.

Red, Red, RedRed, Red, Red, by Valeri Gorbachev

It doesn’t matter what I think about the Gorbachev books; at least I know what to expect: (1) Lots of repetition and (2) lots of repetition. In this story, Turtle is going across town to see something red. Along the way he passes lots of red things, but they are not the red thing he seeks. He is joined by all the animal village folk, and you’d think that he could just tell them where he was going and save everybody the trouble. At the end, it’s the sunset that he is going to see — I didn’t spoil it for you, did I? — and everyone is there to see it. This book isn’t really bad, just a little obvious in an annoying way.

Now I’m going to drink some more orange juice — it can’t hurt — and find the softie tissues for my red, red, red nose. Sniffle. Sniffle.

1 comment:

The Library Lady said...

I have to say I liked "Where's My Darling Daughter?" and so did the 3 crowds I read it to a story time last spring. I think it kind of fits the "Blue's Clues" sort of style--kids LIKE it when the grown-ups don't get it and they DO get the joke. They really liked trying to point out to Dad where his daughter is--and that sort of audience participation really helps with 2 and 3 year olds!

Yeah, the rhyme's not perfect, but it swung well enough when read out loud.

Hope your nose is feeling less irritated. It's a bad allergy season here in NoVa--all we can do is hope for some rain!