Tommy's blankie becomes a medium for transforming his daytime activities into bedtime whimsies –through which the author blurs fantasy and reality.
On Monday Teddy Bear wondered what Tommy would do. Tom said, "Today I'm going to be a lion." And to the cat, "I shall eat you up." "Oh no you won't", said Puss. And off he ran. That evening Tom dreamt his blankie captured a lion on the desert, and rode it home. The story pattern repeats daily until Sunday, when the blankie(!) "shhshes" the mother to let Tom sleep. Fantasy without purpose offers little.
Willard's poems offer a bit of Blake's style, but entail flights of imagination more befitting Alice in Wonderland than William Blake.
Blake's Inn is intended as a metaphor for imagination itself. Its well structured poems encourage and engage one in wild flights of imagination. Characters such as a talking Rabbit, a Wise Cow, and the Man with the Marmalade Hat inhabit the Inn, and take trips among the stars. Willard's approach suggests the pinnacle of imagination is absurdity, in language and perspective. VM finds this Alice in Wonderland approach represents neither Blake, nor good poetry. Given its awards and academic approval, this requires a thorough Full Review.
Lester's characters, Clive, Rosie, et al. enjoy various diconnected 'events'.
The child characters do different things in different places: E.g. "At the Museum ... Rosie talks to Phar Lap" ... "Tessa learns how butter is made." Each case is demonstrated by a poor, cartoonish illustration. The book offers no theme, no plot and nothing tying the incidents together. It may be enjoyable to those familiar with Clive Eats Alligators, Rosie Sips Spiders and Tessa Snaps Snakes, but Celeste Sails to Spain does not stand by itself.
Punished for her petty sins of pride, Princess Prunella is plagued by a repugnant purple peanut nose –that will only become normal if she serves others three times.
Atwood perceived publishers' presumption that page after page of 'p' alliteration points to polished and printable children's literature. 'Prunella' is punished for pointless pride by the perennial, old fairy in plebian apparel. Prunella's nose turns peanut-shaped, purple, and swells. Relief, of course, requires three 'good deeds' for anyone other than herself. That Prunella marginally values her beneficiaries doesn't redeem this lame work.
Mr. Slow would not even get to work on time to drive his –slow– steam roller.
We must suspend our disbelief to accept just how slow Mr. Slow is. We must further suspend our disbelief to see Mr. Slow proceed with a job hunt. The story ends well... he becomes a steam roller driver, slowly rolling fresh pavement. But he is set up as being so very slow that he would never get to work on any work day! In the end the story is too unworkable, even for fun, and therefore an irrational thing to present to children.
Baby Duck breaks family safety rules and survives various dangers, all without consequence.
Foolishly mistaking a plastic ducky as an 'adult', Baby Duck follows it outside his safe limits. Escaping several dangers until lost and upset, he flies home on his first try. Asked if he broke the safety rules, he replies, "Oh no, I was with my new friend." This, and that his mama plans to teach him to fly, are supposed to be amusing, but the story is too approving of foolish innocence.
The nighttime dancing of ghostly creatures is described in rhyme.
Fun rhymes could be about better things than dancing ghouls and goblins. There is no theme, no plot, no characters, and precious little value. The concept of this book repeated in Drumheller Dinosaur Dance.
A member of Babar's favorite band has bad timing and flies off in a huff, only to be forgiven so he will return and play.
Told mainly through narration Babar Saves the Day tells us of Babar's favorite musician, Olala, and his band. We are told that a parrot that is important to the band flies off angrily, because Olala corrected its timing. Babar pursues the parrot, but it is King Babar (not Babar!) who convinces it to return. Olala 'forget's' the misbehavior and the band plays. The parrot's timing remained disturbingly off , so Babar did not save the day and nothing was resolved.
Arthur deceives D.W. in her own effort to deceive the tooth fairy.
While the story is an appropriate way of debunking the Tooth Fairy game for children, the title of the story is surprisingly misleading. In the story D.W. attempts to trick the tooth fairy by placing a shark's tooth under her pillow. Knowing his parents do not know, Arthur decides to be the Tooth Fairy and makes the money-for-tooth swap, deceiving D.W.
Ramsay escapes his rude family by entering a weird place where Rillah saves him from attack-radishes and becomes an 'instant' friend.
Eight years after Princess Prunella, Atwood apparently thought another children's book built on alliteration would be just the thing. Now it's the letter 'r'. We've no idea why Ramsay is rude, but he crawls through a tunnel into an odd world where radishes attack. There, Rillah rescues him and helps him return to witness a revenge on his rotten relatives. While Prunella's illustrations were frilly ugliness Ramsay's are bizarre ugliness. The illustrations match the stories.