big stick cover

Size matters

How big is a stick?
Podendorf
1971

This is very dated. The illustrations are bizarre and look even older than early 1970s. Andy and Jerry go around comparing sticks to body parts. (Of course I immediately wanted to make a bunch of tasteless jokes, because it is just too easy.)

Andy and Jerry need better hobbies and they need to be a bit more clever with names. 80 percent of this book is focused on the naming and comparing of these sticks. The last bit is when Andy and Jerry’s dad shows up and talks about rulers. The end.

I have questions. I want to know why they have so many sticks. Don’t these people gather them up? Don’t they need kindling? What about all the dogs in the neighborhood?

6th Grade Really Kill You cover

Friday Fiction: 6th Grade Can Really Kill You

6th Grade Can Really Kill You
DeClements
1985

Just recently we posted the book called How do you lose those 9th grade blues? with the ultra creepy older boyfriend? This another book in the series, where Elsie is a background player to Helen. Helen has some sort of learning disability and also acts up. She struggles with reading and is called dumb (and worse). Naturally, not all the teachers can see this problem and are just awful and inflexible. A new teacher sees the problem and wants Helen in a special education program. Helen’s mom doesn’t want her in a “special” class due to embarrassment and the stigma.

cover

Little Women for the Preschoolers

Little Women
Hughes (adaptation)
Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott
1994

This version of Little Women was weeded recently from the picture book collection. Spoiler alert! Beth doesn’t die. Evidently, Beth’s illness is too much for the average 2-6 year old.

This movie tie-in adaptation is terrible. Little Women is not something that can be condensed into a few pages and be appropriate for preschoolers.

tree houses title page

World Class Tree Houses

Tree Houses
Wills
1957

This book was weeded from a local collection. The book was tired looking and was outdated and hadn’t left the shelf in decades. I was curious about the author and found out that Royal Barry Wills was an architect and was pretty influential. His work work was mostly in New England and was considered to be the master of the Cape Cod style.

Considering this was geared to children, the text was more complex and instructions weren’t easy to follow. I think this is more a vanity project, given the author’s credentials. This is not to say this book doesn’t have worth. I am sure that architecture geeks would say this is worth keeping. That may be true, but it still doesn’t belong in a modern youth nonfiction collection.

Hawaii cover page

Hawaii is really American!

Hawaii USA
Edelman
1954 revised 3rd printing 1959

This was still in circulation as of this writing. Much like our Alaska book previously featured, this book is woefully out of date. Hawaii became a state in 1959, so this particular edition was updated enough to acknowledge statehood. For the life of me, I cannot understand why this book is still in a public library. I am willing to go out on a limb and say that the Hawaii of 1959 is not the same as Hawaii of 2021. Seriously, why would anyone want a 60 plus year old book on Hawaii?

family grows

A new baby for the family

How a Family Grows
Shay
1968

This is a photo essay explaining reproduction to kids. This family is expecting a baby and there is a narrative of how this family explains the upcoming birth to the siblings. We featured another of Arthur Shay‘s books about nursing. That book also followed a similar format of following a particular bunch of students as they go through nursing school. They aren’t particularly bad, just outdated.

The first picture below almost had me do a double take. I thought this was some bizarre ice sculpture, and then read the caption about a field trip. I am assuming that the field trip was to a science museum and not some weird cocktail party.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Story

Thanksgiving
Wyndham
1963

We have another Thanksgiving holiday book from the olden days. This book is more the familiar story those of us of a certain age remember as the “true” story of Thanksgiving. Of course it reads a bit more sweetly and glosses over some of the rougher experiences of the Pilgrims. Not to mention under playing the role of the local natives in keeping the colonists alive that first winter.

smashed potatoes

Thanksgiving Fiction for the Kids

Smashed Potatoes
and other Thanksgiving Disasters
Murphy
1994

Someone had to remind me that this week is Thanksgiving week. It is one of my favorite holidays since it really requires nothing but some turkey and the Detroit Lions failing to win a football game. Usually we post fiction on a Friday, but since I have a Thanksgiving title, we will be featuring this one before the holiday.

This one is for the middle elementary set. The family is preparing for the holiday when Mom is called away to help a relative who is ill. Mom sets a reservation at a local place since she won’t be there to cook. (Evidently, Dad is too incompetent to cook as well.) Megan decides this isn’t how they should do Thanksgiving dinner and cancels the reservation. She is going to step up and cook. Of course, nothing goes to plan and Megan realizes her dinner is fast becoming a disaster. However, she eventually realizes that Thanksgiving is really about family togetherness.