Thanks again, Vicki! What’s the verdict, Readers?
April’s Note: Today we have Monika from A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall, she has excellent taste in children’s books. I love this post so much that I begged her to use it here.
I take her advice so seriously that any time my daughter requests (for me to purchase) what’s obviously a mass produced book (twaddle) designed to sell more television characters, etc. I say ‘no’ and we find a compromise.
So there’s no ‘Dora Saves the Day’ or ‘My Little Pony’s Great Adventure’ in my house. Enjoy!
Let us know in the comments what you think of twaddle and the such. How do you choose children’s books?
I am so excited that children’s literature is one of the Armchair BEA topics this week! This is something I’ve been wanting to post about for a while, especially since I get a lot of requests to review children’s books.
When it comes to children’s literature, there is a word that describes what I avoid:
The Enormous Crocodile by: Roald Dahl
Source: Public Library (I will probably purchase it soon.)
The Enormous Crocodile is incredibly hungry-and incredibly greedy. His favorite meal is a plump, juicy little child, and he intends to gobble up as many of them as he can! But when the other animals in the jungle join together to put an end to his nasty schemes, the Enormous Crocodile learns a lesson he won’t soon forget. Dahl’s wicked humor is as delightful as ever in this new, larger edition of a hilarious favorite.
I love Roald Dahl. My daughter is three. My favorites are Matilda and The Witches, so I figure that she might be a little too young for those two. I went out seeking something that might not be as scary and traumatic, so I settled on The Enormous Crocodile… without reading it first. The enormous crocodile is INTENT on gobbling up as many as juicy little children as he can get his teeth on! In the usual Roald Dahl spirit it’s a little dark, a little horrifying, and ALL fun.
I thought that The Girl might find this scary or terrifying – but by the end she was delighted and laughed her head off. None of the children got eaten – the enormous crocodile is thwarted by the various jungle animals that he yaps about his plans to gobble up children to. The end of the story climaxes with Trunky the Elephant swinging the Crocodile by his tail and launching him into the sun, where he ‘sizzles up like a sausage.’ I read it, paused, and then she started giggling like a maniac.
My biggest ‘complaint’ about this book is a little long to read in one sitting – but not completely prohibitively so. It’s also a great selection for early readers.
Are there any pictures books that you don’t totally hate, Reader? What about ones that are a little bit dark?
Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit. From the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion.
Inspired by The Well-Read Redhead. Reviews of books for children, tolerated by adults.
In this age of mass-produced nonsense for adults (I’m looking at you Fifty Shades of Grey) is it surprising that we have so many picture books hastily put together with characters that have been branded and marketed? Monika at A Lovely Bookshelf wrote a brilliant piece on twaddle in children’s literature. Well meaning friends and family members will often drop off books for The Girl starring Dora, Minnie Mouse, and Disney Princesses (the worst). More often than not I skim through the books and find that they’re worse than useless, they’re a waste of time and brain cells. (I’m still looking at you, Fifty Shades of Grey) So I dispatch these well-meant gifts directly to the GoodWill bag that resides in my front closet, post-haste.