December 22, 2010

The Wednesday Bookshelf: Bear In Underwear Plus In The Night Kitchen

Today's book: Bear In Underwear.  Let's file this one under "Cute, but inexplicable", shall we?  And let me warn you, there will be spoilers.  So don't let your two-year-old read this post.

Bear In UnderwearOr while we're at it, the book...bear and his friends are hiding, bear gets hungry, bear finds a backpack in the woods and brings it home, bear's friends persuade him to open it, bear and his friends try on all the underwear they find in it, and everyone lives happily ever after.

This story is so disjointed that it's hard to summarize (although I clearly just did); however, one part does jump right out at me: they are trying on underwear they found in a bag in the forest.  If I wasn't philosophically opposed to exclamation points, there would be 250 pixels worth at the end of that sentence.

Do not pick this one up off of the shelf. Not even for the cute pictures (they are cute...I'd be tempted to make some of the characters out of felt as stuffed animals if the story weren't so stupid).

In the Night Kitchen (Caldecott Collection)And, if I may be so bold, also don't pick up In the Night Kitchen (Caldecott Collection).  I can hear you right now, protesting:  But it's a Caldecott Honor Book!  But it's by the same guy who wrote Where The Wild Things Are!  But I loved that book when I was a kid! (By the way, those are your exclamation points, not mine, and Where The Wild Things Are was just as bad as this one.)

Sure, childhood nostalgia is an allowable influence of book selection.  But awards?  Not so much.  Maybe the Caldecott selection board is actually the children's book world version of the Razzies, ever think of that?

Kid goes to sleep, falls out of his bed - and clothes - into the night kitchen, where he almost gets baked in a pie by what appears to be three Oliver Hardys, escapes in a dough airplane, and pours milk from the milky way into the batter, ensuring morning cake for everyone before waking up back in his bed - and clothes?   Really? 

Almost as good as trying on underwear you found in a bag in the forest.