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For the Kids

Books for the kids

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Guess What? Chicken Butt!

Anatomy and Physiology for ChildrenAnatomy and Physiology for Children Explained Through the Dissection of a Chicken
Ashton
1966

Submitter: This book last circulated in 1970 (thank goodness) and was withdrawn from the juvenile section of a mid-size academic library. I’m all for drawing similarities across living organisms, but the illustrations of the dead chicken innards are just creepy and I can totally understand the expression on the androgynous human’s face if that were the outside of my body (seems to be missing a few things). Also, if dissecting a chicken is supposed to tell us about, well, us, then why do you spend most of the book explaining how we’re different? And what is on the table on the cover? Chestnuts? Chicken hearts? You decide.

Holly: This book is for children?? Its format and vocabulary are very mature. The little darlings on the cover have been put off their chicken nuggets for a while, I think.

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Y2K-9

Y2K-9 coverY2K-9 : The dog who saved the world
Strasser
1999

Submitter: I’m sure at the time this was a pretty funny book. The story is about bunch of dogs who are computer geeks and secret government agents who help save the world on Y2K. The dogs chat in chat rooms about not flying on planes and stocking up on toilet paper (though I wonder how the dogs could even type….). The story does well mixing the serious worries of the time with humor. Now it is just dated, Y2K was 18 years ago! Looking back the anxiety of Y2K seems silly, but it was serious then. I doubt a kid today would even understand why it was such a concern. I guess it would have been good to give kids a fun story to help deal with all the worry at the time. Do kids even chat in chat rooms anymore? The chatroom pages in the book are kind of funny with the aliases. The book has only circulated 4 times. Time to go.

Holly: Do they teach kids about Y2K in school? And if so, in what grade? Babies born in Y2K are heading off to college this year! Kids will read just about anything with dog characters, but this might be pushing it. Typing dogs who stock up on toilet paper for Y2K might have even been pushing it at the time it was published!

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TV Problems

boy who turned into a tv setThe Boy Who Turned Into A TV Set
Manes
1979

Thanks to a tip, I found this lovely book. It’s obvious this book is outdated. You youngsters might not know about “rabbit ears” (antenna) but if you are over 40, you probably had to help hold them in the right place so the picture wouldn’t be fuzzy. I think I spent the majority of the 1960s holding the rabbit ears while my dad fussed with tin foil.

Anachronisms not withstanding, this book is odd because it looks like a picture book but the text is pretty dense. There are even “chapters.” The basic story is that this boy watches so much TV, he ends up having a television on his stomach. (They never do address the health issues associated with this phenomenon. Kind of disappointing.) I am not sure of the intended audience for this book.

I am not sure I like the illustrations either. The people’s faces look weird and for the life of me I can’t figure out if the woman in the last picture is actually holding a box of ducks. She also needs a better bra. Any kiddie lit experts want to weigh in? I don’t get it.

Mary

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