A grandfather anticipates his relationship and activities with his unborn grandchild.
Though sentimental, Crystal shows children just how eagerly parents and grandparents anticipate and love their children. His narration is in verse: "You're the new twig on our tree, / and I can't wait to watch you grow." Illustrations are unnecessarily misty, as if the values portrayed are somehow not of this world. A decent gift, but it seems to be written more for a grandparent's sentimentality, than for the grandchildren. (This same error can be seen in "I Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch)
A young boy learns that 'heaven' is understanding how Grandpa's influence continues long after he has passed away.
As his family relates precious moments they had with Grandpa, the grieving young son can't understand 'where' Grandpa is. The father wisely portrays Heaven "as any place two people who love each other have shared some time". The boy grasps the useful lesson that Grandpa's 'presence' lies in his ongoing relevance to their lives, though he no longer physically exists. The understanding enables him to tell them his own memories—emotional stuff!
The love a mother shows her son becomes rather odd as he matures, but her love is both returned and 'passed on' to her grandchildren.
A new mother rocks her son and sings him the "Love You Forever" verse. Throughout his life she slips into his room to rock him and sing. When she is too old it is he who holds her and sings. Moved, he returns home to rock and sing to his baby daughter. The sentimental understanding is too much to impose on children, and is marred by Munsch's humor by exaggerated behavior.
A poor impoverished child sells matches all day on a freezing New Year's Eve but, overcome by cold, we are told of her last visions and of her journey to Heaven.
Un-named, she is any poor girl struggling in a dysfunctional family. Shoeless, shivering and afraid to return home, for she has sold no matches and will be beaten, she retreats into an untraveled alley. As the cold consumes her we are shown her final visions of things she treasured. This marvelously presented, painfully emotive tragedy offers a useful lesson contrasting those who really struggle for life with those who do not. It is not for young children, but for teenagers to learn H. C. Andersen's awful focus on the worst in life.
Gyp never barked, but years later saw his brother Sweep at a sheepdog trial and woofed –once.
The British shepherd liked the silent Gyp as a puppy, even though he was not good at herding. "Sweep", Gyp's best playmate showed more promise but was sold (why?). Years later, Gyp's owner went to a sheep dog trial that Sweep won. Gyp recognized Sweep with one loud "Woof", and they played again as puppies. Ever after, Gyp remained silent. The story is pointlessly sad.
In her hide and seek game Tilly likes to find her 'treasures', but she becomes the treasure when playing with her parents.
Tilly likes to play hide and seek for her favorite 'treasures'. She holds up each find and announces, "My treasure". Then, at bedtime she hides, until Mum and Dad pick her up and announce "My treasure." The repetition is too much, poor sentence structure, and really poor pictures detract from an insipid idea that only an excellent 'out loud' reader could salvage.
Our only relief from Berty's detailed narration, about the timeless repetition of life on a Vermont farm, is his older brother's nagging desire to see the world.
This book offers its subject, the ongoing minutiae of 1917 farm life, as a theme. Sure, family milk was sold "to George Macready's creamery at the end of Grant Street", of Barstow, Vermont. So what! The narrator, Bert, is a purposeless observer with only his older brother's wanderlust contrasting with farm routine. To Bert, Luke's sad departure is just another wistful tick of farm-time. Illustrated faces project the same sentimental detail and tedium.
"Daddies can teach you how to ride a bicycle, make a snowman with you, and bake a delicious cake for your birthday..." and a few other things. This is more of a loose set of talking points than a story. The best aspect of the book is the illustrations, which present well-dressed Dads of various animal species.
A banal story in which Miss Nelson disguises herself as a strict substitute teacher so class appreciates her return.
Miss Nelson is a nice teacher with a misbehaving class. One day she is away and the mean and strict Miss Viola Swamp takes over. The children soon appreciate nice Miss. Nelson. In a kind of "do unto others" lesson, they show their affection on the day Miss Nelson 'returns' to class. Child readers must figure out that Swamp was a disguised Miss. Nelson. Ultimately the illustration and plot are uninspiring to most children.
This is an event-less reminiscence, by a boy and his grandfather, about their typical old family farm, before it is auctioned.
A boy's grandparents can no longer operate their farm and prepare an auction to sell their possessions. The boy is sad to see the farm sold because he had hoped to become a farmer one day. He reminisces with his grandfather, asking to hear the stories of his grandparents' lives on the farm. The story ends when they are prepared for the auction. The story is just nostalgia, and no other values or character are demonstrated.