Mountain echoes convince Bear the moon talks to him, then similar contrivances result in their 'exchanging' birthday gifts.
Bear decides the Moon should have a birthday, and travels to a mountain-top so he can ask what it wants. Asch carefully chooses Bear's wording to the moon, so that mountain echoes appear to offer answers. Similar contrivances give Bear and Moon the same birthday, with both wanting a hat, which they appear to exchange, and then lose. Though well-liked, the story's reliance on artifice takes unfair advantage of a child's credulity.
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.
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.
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.
Everybody has "seventeen" unlikely reasons not to take a baby that Robin found, except for the whimsy of a trucker, who takes the baby and leaves his truck.
Robin pulls a 'murmelling' baby out of a hole in the sand box (Huh?). She asks several unlikely, and stereotypical, people if they need a baby, and answers their rather silly questions. Three have seventeen unlikely things associated with them: diaper salesmen, cats, jobs. The businessman is portrayed as only interested in grasping money. Finally a truck driver just wants a baby, and leaves Robin his truck. Why? We are given no idea.
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.
In a flurry of irrelevant events at "boating school", SpongeBob and his incompetent friend argue, and then reconcile to save an incubating egg.
SpongeBob takes his friend Patrick Starfish to boating school. Patrick has no idea how to behave. They fight and end up in detention. While there, the heat lamp to an incubating egg fails. They team up to replace it, saving the egg and gaining some praise from the teacher. The story is inappropriately padded with nonsense as 'kid' entertainment, e.g. an underwater breakfast of toast(!) and age-inappropriate references to blank-slate minds, Forrest Gump etc.
Scrooge and the kids 'get' the bad guys in alligator suits, but Scrooge is an unacceptable caricature of businessmen.
Newspapers report that alligators are in the city's drain system, while money and jewels are mysteriously disappearing from stores overnight. When Uncle Scrooge goes to check his money bin, he spots thieves in motorized alligator suits who have been entering properties by the drains. A chase ensues. Though theft is treated as wrong, the character of Scrooge promotes a deep error: the naive view that wealth is merely coins and gold unproductively hoarded in vaults.
Lonely Millicent finds a companion and protector in The Wind, but is not happy until a real playmate is blown to her.
Millicent is wistfully alone in her alpine home, until the day The Wind befriends her. Later, when she is harassed by village children, it bowls over her tormentors. Millicent asks The Wind for a real friend, and an unquestioning boy is blown(!) to her home. The fine illustrations are airy & wistful. Since The Wind is not her imagination, the story portrays companionship as fundamental need for happiness. Unfortunately, companionship becomes a substitute for Millicent's purposelessness. The mood of the story is unusual for Munsch, and has a definite appeal.
In her quest for immortality a mermaid princess falls in love with a human, but after immense suffering and failure in life, she only partially reaches her goal.
To gain immortality, a mermaid hopes to share the soul of a human prince through marriage. A witch gives her legs that pain her, cutting out her tongue as payment. She will only die soulless if the prince marries another –which he does. A second spell can save her, if she murders him. She chooses suicide, but miraculously enters a gentle, ghostly purgatory. Instead of suffering and death, Disney’s Mermaid offers children success and life.