Caillou's attitude to Grandma's gift changes when he sees it has a dinosaur on it.
The sweater from Grandma is a boring gift. Caillou wants a dinosaur. But when ice-cream lands on his chest, he changes into the new sweater and sees it has a dinosaur too. Oh Boy! The moral of this story is quite unclear. Is it, "if you don't like a gift you've received, take a closer look"? It certainly does not go so far as to suggest the (somewhat) more sophisticated, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".
A scraped knee is great, because you can translate it into lots of attention.
Caillou shows off on his bike, falls, scrapes his knee, and gets several Band Aids as appeasement from his mother. The consequences of over-extending one's abilities to show off, go untouched. Caillou proceeds to shows off(!) his Band Aids to neighbors. This is a rather nonsensical treatment of a possibly good learning situation.
In this uninspiring précis of the original story, Sara's unfortunate fall from wealth and her unexpected recovery, becomes a lesson on pitying for the poor.
This storybook focuses on Sara's poverty rather than her character. The movie, A Little Princess (1995), presents Sara as an industrious, imaginative, highly moral girl who suffers the loss of her father with dignity. She refuses to be cowed by Miss Minchin even when adults might wallow in despondence. Get the full novel and DVD, instead.
Scooby & friends foil the usual bad-guy developers who 'haunt' a water-park to scam its underground water rights.
Stereotypically unscrupulous developers 'haunt' a water park in a desert. They intend to bankrupt it so they can build a city. Residents would be dependent on the developers' control of the underground water supply. The silly antics of Scooby's gang exposes the developers, but puts clay feet on the heros. Why focus children on heroes with clay feet and bad businessmen, before teaching them of true heroes and the remarkable good that is business?
The main character fears rejection by her baseball team for her ballet, then looks good when she uses a baseball skill at her ballet recital.
The heroine is afraid her baseball team will find out she also takes ballet lessons. At the final ballet recital she applies her catching skill when the Dandelion Queen loses her crown. We are to conclude that ballet is okay, and the heroine need no longer be embarrassed to be a baseball ballerina. So catching a falling crown in a ballet recital 'somehow' makes ballet OK, for those baseball players who thought it was not.
A tall girl pursues dance, periodically trading insults with her peers using a Western, Black sub-culture patois.
This is a success story of a young, rather tall, dancer who faces minor ridicule from her peers. Though she is dedicated there is no real struggle, and her success is not very inspiring. Her character is weakened by bouts in which she trades insults with her peers. Worse, and for no good reason, this poor behavior is presented using unnecessary Western, Black, sub-culture mannerisms and speech, as if that added literary value. The title seems misleading.
An older son believes carnivals are shallow entertainment, until his Dad steps in to prevent him from running away with one.
The stable older son pooh-poohs circuses, yet it is he who is so swayed by the magic act that he loses his sense of priorities and runs from home. His father rescues him, and he 'realizes' his best destiny is to stay on the family farm. Is this some sort of, "stay on here' message from parents? The absence of compelling factors in the plot, to convince the son to run away and to then return, makes the story bland indeed.
Caillou wanders off in his neighborhood without consequences.
Caillou wanders from home, distracted by fun things, until a crow scares him. Then a kind lady takes him home, where his Mum only shows mild dismay. That he could have been seriously harmed, lost, or both, may not be great bedtime material, but the message here is frighteningly lax.
Caillou says he didn't paint Rosie's doll on purpose, and is excused.
Caillou painted his sister's doll though "he knew he was doing something he shouldn't." When found out, he cried, "I didn't do it on purpose." Mum translates this to, "You didn't mean to do any harm." and takes Caillou to clean the doll. Caillou feels better. He is neither praised for admitting he has done wrong, nor corrected for his lie. Does this teach children responsibility for their actions?