Posts Tagged ‘children’

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Christmas Stories: Life and Sylvia

December 14, 2010

Life and Sylvia, by Josephine Balestier, wins the award for Most Condescending Christmas Story Ever. It looks like a children’s book, and it sounds like a children’s book, but I haven’t been able to figure out what the appeal is meant to be for kids. All the jokes are aimed at adults. All of them. And they’re all of the “isn’t it cute that kids don’t know anything” variety. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Christmas Stories: Christmas, A Happy Time; A Tale, Calculated for the Amusement and Instruction of Young Persons

December 17, 2009

Christmas, A Happy Time, by Alicia Catherine Mant (or, as the title page says, Miss Mant) is a typical children’s story of the 1830s, which means that nothing happens. Well, a dog dies, principally so that Miss Mant can make it clear just how important it is for children to obey their parents. Not that the children in this story do disobey their parents. It’s just — I really can’t see any point to this story. It’s not amusing, it’s not instructive, and it’s not Christmassy.

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My Father’s Dragon…

September 20, 2009

…is now available on Project Gutenberg.

Actually, it may have already been there–the “Recently Posted or Updated EBooks” feed doesn’t actually specify which is which. I think it’s new, although UPenn’s Celebration of Women Writers has had a version up for a while.

Any excuse to reread it, though, and a Gutenberg eBook is a pretty good excuse. It’s fully illustrated, and, well, completely wonderful in every way. Read it. Find a kid to read it to. Pull out your paperback copy — I have two — and smile at it, because you just can’t help it. Read the sequels. Be happy.

My Father's Dragon

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The Poor Little Rich Girl

September 4, 2009

I didn’t really like The Poor Little Rich Girl, by Eleanor Gates. I thought the first part was sort of good: Gwendolyn, the title character barely sees her wealthy parents, and her governess, her nurse, and the footman are sort of in league against her–they threaten her, take advantage of their position, and conspire to keep her from telling her mother and father how unhappy she is. It’s kind of intense, and a little bit difficult to read, because you really get a sense of Gwendolyn’s frustration and unhappiness. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Books I have neglected to post about since finishing The Girl From Hollywood

May 14, 2009

I keep wanting to do a post about Edgar Rice Burroughs’ book The Girl from Hollywood, and how an absolutely appalling series of coincidences gets three different women involved with an evil¬†movie director named, if I recall correctly, Wilson Crumb. One gets addicted to cocaine and becomes a drug dealer (although he cannot get her to sleep with him);another gets addicted to cocaine, becomes his mistress, and dies of pnuemonia after he hits her; and one, after semi-successfully fending off his advances, shoots herself. The two drug-addicted ones are in love with the same young man, who lives on a ranch modeled after Burroughs’ own, and the attempted suicide is his sister. His name is Custer, and he spends a while in jail for murder. It’s all pretty miserable. If I had no interest in reading the Tarzan books before, I really don’t now.

Anyway: things I have read since The Girl From Hollywood, and liked better: Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Galloping Ghost

January 31, 2009

The Galloping Ghost is the second book I’ve read by Roy Judson Snell. The first was The Blue Envelope, which was an adventure for girls set in Alaska. I thought it was okay, but I questioned Snell’s choice of title: the blue envelope is largely irrelevant.

Can I say he’s got a problem with irrelevant titles after only two books? Because the ghost of the title is just a deus ex machina that occasionally drops by to give the detectives a clue to the mystery, and he’s not even as helpful as the detectives’ boy assistant Johnny, who basically provides the solution to the mystery by accidentally stumbling on clues near the local florist at every opportunity. His luck is so good that the book would only be half as long as it is now if he didn’t keep withholding information for no apparent reason. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Motor Car Dumpy Book

March 25, 2008

motingman

“These are the kind of clothes you wear when you go moting if you are a man.”

motingwoman

“These are the kind of clothes you wear when you go moting if you are a woman.

magistrate
“This is the magistrate who fines you ¬£20 if you have been driving too fast. It is best not to drive too fast.”


The Motor Car Dumpy Book, by T.W.H. Crosland