A boy offers a mouse a cookie, which prompts further demands: for milk, a napkin, etc. forming a chain of other rationalistic steps that ends with the mouse being thirsty and asking for milk and a cookie.
The cute illustrations are the main value in this book, and perhaps distract readers from its ultimate lack of content. Such flights of fancy can be amusing, but serve little purpose and are probably comprise the easiest/lowest/commonest form of children's literature, no matter how popular. Worse, they steal time from a child's pursuit of more important values. This book's many awards are a disturbing indicator of the literary establishment's approach to children.
There are great things to do, but you must work towards them even in the midst of failure... "There's fun to be done!"
The Geisel's offer the best advice anyone can give a child facing the world: use your free will, take charge of your own direction, enjoy the ups and wrestle through the downs, but never stop. Rather than penning a nonsense story in rhyme, the Geisel's have used their considerable talent to provide readers of all ages with the ultimate 'life' pep-talk: One can always choose a direction, and go, You should choose this book for your kids.
Billy copes with the amusing problems and boyish adventures of having two owls as uncaged pets.
We are told, autobiographically, how Billy retrieves and makes pets of two owls. "Wol" was saved from a downed tree in a prairie wood, outside Saskatoon. "Weeps" was rescued from boyish brutality, in town. We learn how Wol scares off the maid, upsets Billy's teacher, scares off threatening, bigger boys and discovers he cannot swim. "Wol" even liked to ride on Billy's bicycle handle bars. It's a fun and easy read.
Kate's fantasy dream, in which she is a cat meeting another, white cat.
Kate, perhaps dreaming, turns into a cat and sneaks out of the house for a fantasy rendezvous with an all white male cat, under a sky full of dreams. When she leaves, it is as if she is awake for the transformation. In the morning the family discusses their dreams, and her only comment is "Meow, Meow." Kate, the Cat and the Moon is nothing more than aimless fantasy for no other reason than that the author can fantasize. The illustrations are equally crude.
A tree and boy reveal the opposite character presenting the false, modern, moral alternatives of altruistic & egotism, respectively: the tree gives its all –even its life– for the boy, whereasthe boy takes the benefits with indifference.
A little boy plays on a tree he loves, and that loves him. As he matures he only visits her when he wants something. Her happiness lies in giving him her fruit, limbs and trunk! Finally, as a depressed, unappreciative old man, he sits on the dead stump "and the tree was happy." An honest reader must ask, "Really? You're dead." This parable exposes the folly of giving and taking as today's preeminent moral choice. Parents are left to teach a smarter alternative...
A young fortune teller succeeds by telling people to work for their own futures, but we see no evidence that his advice is valid.
An old fortune teller puts the onus on his clients to act for their own future; e.g. "Rich you will surely be, [if] you earn large sums of money." A young carpenter falls for this semantic trick. When the fortune teller disappears, a confusion of events enables the carpenter to take over the same fraudulent practice. No one else benefits & the fortune teller dies.
Nasty and rich, three farmers fanatically pursue a thieving fox as it escalates its thievery to benefit its family and community.
First, we meet three poultry farmers whose bad character lies only in their wealth and distasteful habits. Mr. Fox, the caring 'little guy', feeds his family by stealing from the farmers. Incensed, they resolve to kill the fox at all costs. Lying in wait at the fox den fails. Shovels fail. Steam-shovels arrive. Tension rises. Will the foxes always dig farther? This entertaining story may be useful for parents to show their children the nature of immorality.
The effect of shape, color, position and relationship of objects in an artwork are examined for their effect on one's perceptual and emotional interpretation of the work.
Beginning with Little Red Riding Hood, as a small red triangle, Bangs introduces a 'grandma', a forest of tree trunks, and the wolf. At each step she shows how modifications to their shape, color and relative position changes our reaction to the picture. Coordination of color to enhance associations is shown when the wolf's eye is given the same red as Little Red. The last half of the book examines and demonstrates general principles and provides useful exercises.
Arthur is teased for having all his baby teeth, and feels unaccepted until the dentist and Francine help.
All his classmates have lost at least on baby tooth, but not Arthur. Even his loose one has been hanging on ‘forever’. Everyone he knows seems to be growing up, and they make sure he feels he isn’t. Even the dentist’s assurances don’t help as much as Francine’s accidental move. Marc Brown shows young readers that such minor abnormalities pass, but treats Arthur’s insecurity as normal, rather than unnecessary.
A young girl commits three disparate errors described as sins and then in guilt finds absolution in the church, in her apology and in her family.
At her cousin’s First Communion rehearsal the narrator's shawl slips off her head, which is deemed a sin. Worse, the narrator is jealous of her cousin, and pointlessly takes a rosary from that cousin's home. Fearing Hell, and of being found out by her grandmother, she runs alone (another sin) to the church to confess. After she apologizes to family, all is deemed right. Thus, the author treats harmless accident, real theft, pointless envy & possible danger as equivalent transgressions requiring forgiveness by authority rather, without regard for rational judgment.