Wednesday, December 1, 2010

'Tis the Season

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. The Consumer Season has begun. The season of buying stuff. Buying toys, bikes, robots, games, pets, trains, and things that will end up int he garbage in less time than it takes to build them. Okay that's enough for my consumerism rant. Let's try to remember what all the fuss is really about. So before I review several Christmas stories I thought I'd cover a couple that just remind me of things kids might want for Christmas; robots and pets.

"Oh No! Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World"

By Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Dan Santat
For ages 3 – 7
What kind of book would you get if you crossed a comic book with a children's animated television show? Probably something similar to "Oh No! Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World." Rated 3.5 (misadventure, school destruction, science)

Being a super genius can cause problems, especially if you build a robot for your science fair project. Maybe you shouldn’t give it a giant claw or laser eyes. "Oh No!" is a classic comedy of errors that reads like a Disney animated television show on par with "Kim Possible." The comic book-style layouts ad to this fast-paced school adventure. It even has a message we should all follow – use your brain wisely. There are consequences to every action so think things through. But how many adolescent children do you know follow that rule? Fun. Fun. Fun.

"Children Make Terrible Pets"
By Peter Brown
For ages 4 - 6
A cautionary tale of pet ownership, this tale covers the good times, bad times and scary times. Rated 4 (pets, relationships, family)

Pet ownership has it's highs and lows. It all gets compounded when you keep an animal that is not meant to be a pet. Brown's illustrations are fun and inviting, especially for your readers. "Children Make Terrible Pets"
has a good message for all those people who want to own alligators, chimpanzees, tigers or even large pythons. Children may not get the message but they’ll laugh just the same.