Whenever I walk past the window of Barnes & Noble I stop to see what childrens books they're featuring. I don't know if it's because I'm competitive by nature or just mean-spirited, but I tend to get very irritated--too many celebrity books, too many sequels, and too many books that just seem insipid.
Out of the dozen I saw last night, there were only two that I begrudgingly liked:
"Plant a Kiss" is simple and clever, and it's a double entendre: you plant a kiss, and it grows love, get it?
"Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site" is the kind of book Samuel would've liked when he was little--anything about vehicles. So how could I not like that?
As for the rest...
"Goodnight, Dragons." Maybe it's just sour grapes, but I think there should be a rule that an author must spend at least four seconds coming up with a title. "Goodnight, Pirates." There. Now can I be in the window? Grrrr.
"If You Give a Dog a Donut." How many times can an author get away with writing the same damn book? Isn't this, like, #36 in the series? I lost respect for Laura Numeroff after "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." If it's too difficult to come up with an animal that starts with C, you shouldn't be allowed to perpetuate this ponzi scheme.
"Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet." Talk about writing the same book 36 times. How about "Fancy Nancy and the Bratty Little Girl Who Refused to Share the Bookstore Window With Others"?
"It's a Big World, Little Pig," by Kristi Yamaguchi. The figure skater? Dammit. Somebody needs to teach her a lesson. Anybody have Tanya Harding's number?
"Blowin' in the Wind," by Bob Dylan. This is not a children's book. It's a book for self-absorbed Baby Boomers (I know, redundant) to give to their grandkids to direct attention back to themselves.
"Shoe-la-la.": What's worse than the 37th iteration of "Fancy Nancy"? The 37th blatant rip-off of "Fancy Nancy." Henceforth, glitter on the cover will be a requirement for all books targeted to girls under 18.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go buy "Plant a Kiss" and wish I'd written it.