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Bookstores are dangerous places

I spent a long time in the bookstore yesterday, most of it writing in the café, but I did browse before I left. The only thing I have to say in my defense was that everything was on sale.

Syd had told me about Brontorina, but the book in person is even better than he described. What is not to like about a dinosaur who dreams of ballet? The story is all about inclusion. There are characters who are naysayers, but a wonderful ballet teacher understands that Brontorina’s need to dance is as imperative as anyone else’s. She changes her thinking and good things happen, not just for Brontorina, but for other underserved ballet communities, like cows.

I was sucked into Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again by the illustration on the cover, featuring Humpty climbing up the side of the book in his tighty-whiteys. I bought it because it is slyly funny (one of the king’s horses realizes they should, you know, call a doctor for Humpty) and because the story is about overcoming fear. Humpty, understandably nervous after falling to pieces, stops climbing and ends up sitting on the couch in his underwear watching television all day. He is eventually shaken out of his funk by an emergency, among other things, and climbs again to save the day. Of course he learns from the experience; one of his lessons is not to climb without pants.

A Very Big Bunny had to come home with me because the big bunny in question is named Amelia and Syd has an amazing and very tall friend named Amelia, although the real Amelia bursts with confidence and doesn’t seem to struggle in the least with making friends. Anyway, the bunny Amelia has trouble with the other bunnies at school. Amelia is too big. She is excluded from the reindeer games, so to speak. Then a very tiny bunny comes to school and eventually things change. I love solutions that involve tiaras.

The Great Nursery Rhyme Disaster has terrific pictures. The story is silly—Miss Muffet gets bored in her own rhyme and tries out a bunch of others with unfortunate results. The end is not happy; the book is kind of a No Exit. But then, nursery rhymes are not particularly nurturing anyway.

Ever since Syd has been able to express an opinion, he has loved rabbits, so I love them, too. The bunny on the cover of Little Rabbit and the Night Mare is super cute, as are all the fanciful pictures that accompany the story. Little Rabbit is freaked out by a school report. He is plagued by the Night Mare and none of his efforts to get rid of it work. Eventually, by doing his report on the Night Mare, he overcomes the problem. (I am considering doing my next report on the Night Mare myself. Only problem is that I no longer do reports. Sigh.) It is a sweet book written and illustrated by sisters.

Picture books are good for the soul.

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