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One more day! And more children’s books!

November 29, 2012

Hey, 29/30 isn’t bad!

Robin Pulver’s The Case of the Incapacitated Capitals is like a creepy, watered-down E-mergency.  Lynn Rowe Reed’s art is awkward.  What, you can’t make a blue or brown dot, so the whites of the eyes become the color of the eyes?  And they have little carrot noses!  This is one of those cases where “childlike” art doesn’t really do it for me.  And the story doesn’t make SENSE.  I mean, goodness!  Like I said, it’s been done better, and you should probably skip it.  Thank goodness I took that hit for you.

Tomie dePaola (which I always read as Tome-y Payola) brings us The Birds of Bethlehem which is partially a colors book and partially a book about the babby Jesus.  These birds are like “Guess what *I* saw!  A lot of people!  An inn! Etc!” and then…there’s a family.  Wow.  That’s it.  End of book.  What a let-down for anyone who’d been reading the previous pages, with the birds talking about how amazing things are. Skip!

The Santa Trap by Jonathan Emmett with gorgeous art by Poly (Pole-y? Polly?) Bernatene is about a wicked, wicked boy who wants ALL the presents in Santa’s bag.  So he turns his home into a big giant trap.  Kids will love this one.  Loooove this one.  I say that because I did.

Bear Despair is another one of those books with no words, in the same series as The Chicken Thief and whatnot.  (There’s a third book to go with The Chicken Thief!  Me wants!)  This is by a different author, Gaetan Doremus.  The art isn’t as good, the story isn’t as good, but if your kids want to see a bear eat a ton of different animals because he’s mad they stole his teddy, go for it.  Who wouldn’t?  Some people think it’s grisly (grizzly!) but really, so’s the end of Little Red Riding Hood.

Rosemary Wells’s Following Grandfather is a very very strange book that I don’t think should be in my section.  It imagines the world like Fievel and whatnot and then there’s a Bella Swan-like suicidal nature to it toward the end.  I really loved it, but I’ve gotta say: for older kids only.  Jenny adores her grandfather, and then he dies and she starts to see him everywhere–look, just read it.  It’s really good.  But read it before you read it to the kids, because it’s kinda scary.  Loved loved loved the art by Christopher Denise.

BEARS DON’T SLEEP THROUGH THE ENTIRE WINTER; IT IS A MYTH.  That said, Kate Banks’s The Bear in the Book is really boring and meant to get your kid to sleep.  It almost put me to sleep.  And Georg Hallensleben’s art is very fuzzy.  The end.

I will admit that I don’t get The Gremlins by Roald Dahl.  I just don’t.  It makes no sense to me.  Someone on Goodreads said it was about post-traumatic stress disorder but I don’t see it.  It’s about Gremlins.  And it doesn’t make a lot of sense.  And it will be confusing to my kids because it’s got a ton of military terms in it.  Yup.

Bananas in My Ears is a book of stories and poems and stuff by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake.  If this had just been a book about Nat and Anna, I would’ve enjoyed it more.  Or maybe I would’ve made crabby Charlie and Lola comparisons.  Probably not.  Nat and Anna are very different than Charlie and Lola.  So get on that, Rosen.

And that’s all I have today because my two piles are not where I am.  Oops!

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