Book Review: Some Smug Slug

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Book Reviews

This book gives me the creeps.  The author thought it a good idea to have almost every word in the book begin with the letter “S”, and it gets old real quick.  In fact, it gets old on page 14, where the following lines can be read: “Saphead! snickered a skink as its sapphire tail swished.”  Not only is it clunky to read, its meaning is almost unintelligible to big people and little people alike. Some of the S words don’t even make any sense, like why is the stinkbug shivering or what does shantung mean? It aint easy being Dr. Seuss and this book is proof positive that alliteration alone won’t always accord author appreciation.

Every creature that comes into contact with the slug, which for some reason has shoulders even though slugs have no limbs, yells at the poor thing.  Undeterred, the slug marches onwards on its path, which (spoiler alert!) results in the slug being eaten by a giant toad.  I guess it could be a frog, but the animal depicted is squat and brown and I learned elsewhere that this means it is a toad and not a frog.  To confuse the reader even further, the author has hidden illustrations throughout the book, meaning the reader should be on the lookout for a skunk, a snake, a salamander and two snails spying on the slug.  Wait, in addition to all the other S words,  we have to look for “hidden S words?”  I got a S word for this book, and it rhymes with city.

Book Review: I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Book Reviews

I Like MeI hate this book.  It is about a pig that has no friends, save the grey cat that follows her everywhere.  While all the other kids are out playing, the pig paints pictures of cats, eats cookies in bed, and has sad tea parties with her cat and some stuffed animals.  Then, the pig dances around in her underwear and makes a couple of cakes.  Picture after picture, the book shows the pig enjoying things alone, and, in one sad depiction, the pig falls down while roller skating and all the other animals laugh at it.

Are you freaking kidding me? This book teaches kids to grow up and be crazy old cat ladies! I wholeheartedly support a book that teaches kids to be comfortable with who they are.  It should not, however, teach kids to be sugar addicted hermits.  What’s wrong with having a few friends in there?  If you ask me, if you have a grand total of zero friends (cats never, ever count) you should take a long hard look at yourself, not pat yourself on the back.  I don’t know the correct way to get kids to be comfortable with who they are, but neither does this author.

I am also a little uncomfortable with the pig eating so many sweets.  Isn’t it a little stereotypical?  What do you call it when someone goes to town on cookies in bed or scarfs down an entire cake? Pigging out! Jeez, why not have the loser be a dog, or better yet, a miserable fucking cat.  (I am still a bit irritated at the neighbor cats for shitting all over our yard, can you tell?) Hey, sweets have a fine place in this world, but you shouldn’t tell kids that they are for making yourself feel good that nobody else likes  you.  Go make a friend and enjoy a ice cream sundae with them.  If you read this book to your kid, you are asking for trouble.  I am hiding it from Malcolm.

Grade: D- (no guns, no sex, no drugs, so it had something going for it.)

Book Review: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Book Reviews

You’re never going to guess what this book is about.  Oh, wait, the title has a million words in it.  You just might figure out ahead of time what is going to happen here.  It doesn’t really matter because this book is awesome.  The illustrations in this book capture the emotions of the depicted subjects better than any other illustrations that I have ever seen, (and I read a lot of porn!)  Actually that is a joke.  I never, ever read porn.  Please tell Amy I wrote that.  Back to the book.  When the mouse is concerned, the mouse really looks concerned.  When the mouse is scared, he/she really looks scared.  This is great, because it shows kids the way that various feelings look.  This is important, as the only emotion that Malcolm gets to see on my face is anger.  This book broadens his horizons.

The book is a bit on the short side, but it is quite clever.  You can definitely stall by talking about what is going on in the pictures.  Or, if you really want to get back to your TV, you can read it quick and be done in a few minutes.  It is sweet, funny, and best of all it teaches kids that strawberries are yummy.  Best of all, it shows the world what a strawberry would look like if had a mustache and glasses.  Can’t get enough of that!  If you are worried about the big hungry bear in title, (Spoiler Alert!) in never shows up, so don’t sweat any cartoon violence.  There is none. Go buy it.

Grade: A+

I Am Going to Be a Book Reviewer!

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Book Reviews

6a00d8341ca3bb53ef00e54f63955a8833-800wi Don’t get too excited, it’s only on my blog, and it will only be read by you: Amy’s family and some of Amy’s friends at work.  There are a handful of people that I know who read the blog, but for some reason the majority of my friends don’t read this. They tell me that it is because they cannot read, and you know what? I believe them! My friends are not very intelligent.  Last week we spent an hour trying to figure out how to play poker without our poker chips instead of walking 5 minutes to the drug store to buy some more (at one point, we were going to use match sticks until someone realized that we could just keep going to the bar and getting new match sticks without telling anyone).

Anyways, I am going to start reviewing the books that we read to Malcolm.  I know what you are thinking, “Paul, tell us your thoughts about Dan Brown or Michael Pollen!”  The reality is that I read my books late at night after drinking wine and watching silly TV.  I couldn’t review a real book without it sounding like this: “Maybe it’s the pinot talking but this book was really sleepy!”  Plus, I read about three books a year.  I read books to Malcolm before hitting the booze (usually), so I should have a little more to say.  If you think the reviews are lame, let me know, and I will write twice as many!  It’s not as if you’re MY friends.