This book is supposed to be funny, but I think it's revolting. I'm not a vegetarian, so meat-eating doesn't bother me, but it is morally disturbing toThis book is supposed to be funny, but I think it's revolting. I'm not a vegetarian, so meat-eating doesn't bother me, but it is morally disturbing to present children with a storybook that gives predatory animals moral consciences and then lets them embrace the deaths of other animals as part of who they are as individuals.
In real life, animals are carnivores and that's just the way they are. In a picture book, with moral consciences imposed on the creatures, carnivorism looks more like willful murder. The message of the book is that carnivores eat other animals and that it's okay, because they naturally are that way, but in context with the higher level of thinking and moralizing these fictional animals are capable of, it reads like "I'll kill my friends if it suits me, because that's all part of my personal identity."
One of the book's main messages, aside from how some animals are designed to be carnivores, is that of staying consistent with who you are as a person. So, to take this to its logical end, it was okay for Hitler to kill millions because mass murder came naturally to him. It's different with animals, you might say, because they don't know any better and they're just feeding themselves, not acting out of malice. Yes, but this book makes it look otherwise, and that's why I find it disgusting....more
This book is full of beautiful pictures, but unlike other photography collections that focus on exotic locales, costumes, and contrived poses, this onThis book is full of beautiful pictures, but unlike other photography collections that focus on exotic locales, costumes, and contrived poses, this one emphasizes everyday life and the beautiful things right in front of us, turning baby feet, cherries, swimming pools, and noodles into art. This book is largely targeted towards mothers interested in documenting their children's growth and family life, and is very accessible to a busy mom: instead of pages of hard-to-read technobabble, the instruction here is broken up into a paragraph or two juxtaposed with images that show the technique in practice. The collection is absolutely beautiful, and even though my knowledge of photography is beginner level, I enjoyed admiring the techniques on display and the unique angles on life. The photography showcased in the book shows how breathtaking the ordinary really is....more
The illustrations are gorgeous and unique, the message of the story is positive, and it's original. What not to like? The rhymes in the story sometimeThe illustrations are gorgeous and unique, the message of the story is positive, and it's original. What not to like? The rhymes in the story sometimes seem forced, but it's still a terrific book, and I greatly appreciate the following three things which are rare to find in girl power books.
1. The book takes for granted that it makes perfect sense for a young girl to be interested in fixing rockets, and wastes no time carrying on about inferior girls who don't like rockets or people who don't think girls should be involved in said activity. The message isn't "some people think girls can't be intelligent and capable, so we wrote this book to make sure you feel empowered." Instead, it just assumes that girls are intelligent and capable and leaves it at that. It's refreshing.
2. It actually stands as a good story by itself and isn't too message-driven to tolerate.
3. The book does not try to teach girls that boys are oppressive or unnecessary, but just lets the boy and girl interact in a natural way. The story ends without a marriage because Cinderella is too young, not because she laughs in the boy's face and tells him she's an independent woman who doesn't want to tie herself down with a dumb male who can't help himself. The prince character is treated respectfully and does not send the message to young girls that men are deplorable or inferior. They're people too, and I appreciated that this book wasn't out to empower one gender by tearing down the other....more
This well-written, historically accurate book deserves my praise for bringing an overlooked part of world history into cultural knowledge. Few peopleThis well-written, historically accurate book deserves my praise for bringing an overlooked part of world history into cultural knowledge. Few people know anything about what happened in Lithuania during Soviet rule; we know about what happened to the Jews in the Holocaust, but not much about how Soviets treated the innocents in lands they controlled. However, even though I learned a lot and am grateful that this popular book has taught people about the stories, I cannot say that I liked the book itself very much.
Many people have had quite a different experience with this book, so it does have the capacity to evoke great emotion, but personally, I found the first-person narrative too detached and even itemized to create real compassion. I know that these horrible things really did happen to people, but this novel somehow seemed unnatural to me. I think that if this had been written in third person, I would have enjoyed it more, but because it was written from the first-person POV, I expected a lot more pathos and pain from the character. I never felt that we got adequately into her head; she told us about bad things that happened and occasionally said how angry or distressed she was, but nothing seemed tangible, frightening, painful, or real at all. I have read nonfiction overviews of WWII that have moved me to tears, but this seemed like a detached listing of unpleasant, tragic experiences without the humanity that makes their horror become personal and real to the reader....more