Submitter: Our Valentine’s picture book collection is more than a little bit sad. I found TWO copies of this little gem mixed in with a dozen or so other titles. Even with that small number of Valentine’s books, this one still doesn’t circulate, and no wonder: what kid would want a potato for Valentine’s Day? Time to weed this one and do some serious collection development in our holiday books.
Holly: A magic Valentine…potato? Who brings potato chips to children? Ohhhhkay. I’m all for using our imaginations, and I’m all for potato chips and Valentines. However, I’m apparently too old and jaded to get the ap”peal”(ha!) of this story. But hey – if it circulates and the kids like it, by all means keep it. Daniel Pinkwater has written some doozies, hasn’t he? My personal favorite is The Hoboken Chicken Emergency. It was made into a movie and everything. Fat Men From Space is another good one. Pinkwater has chops. This one just seems like more of a “chip.” Ok, I’ll stop now.
Redneck night before Christmas
Submitter: Between the eerily disproportionate illustrations and the highly questionable content, I think this is one of the best books I’ve found in our collection. Santa in camouflage with “Bless the NRA” on his cap and “Go ahead make my day” on the back of his shirt… I hardly have words! A favorite excerpt from the text: “Maw got a girdle to hold in her pelvis, and a velvet painting of her idol Elvis.” Our library system has a few rural branches where this charming title could land and nobody would bat an eye, but here in town not so much. I was appalled to see that we own not one but two copies of this book; they will be weeded before the day is out!
Holly: There’s a fine line between cute and offensive. Say what you want about political correctness, but you really have to know your community of users and their tolerance before you add something like this to your library collection and think it’s “cute.” On a related note, just for kicks I looked up what the politically correct term for redneck is and saw the suggestion “rustically inclined.” #gimmeabreak
Submitter: There’s really nothing wrong with this book, aside from the god-awful pictures and the fact that no 21st century teenager is going to pick this one up when we have newer, more attractive books available. I swear the family in the first picture is in a cult; nothing else could explain that tree!
Holly: Teenagers? This is a teen book? Wow. It will probably be snatched up in a used book sale in a hot minute (not by teens…), but there’s not a lot of reason to keep it in a modern library. If you have unlimited space…nah, I’d still weed it.