I got a copy of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel for Father's Day. it was a book I loved reading as a kid, and now I can read it with my kid. Of course, going through the first few pages made me marvel at how things have changed [Between sprawl and global warming, "It was Mike and Mary Anne and some others who flattened the hills to build our highways," sounds more like an indictment than a compliment.]
So when DT reader Kaz mentioned a couple of childrens books with unintentionally bizarre plots, I got to thinking it's high time for another Daddy Types Children's Book Review Contest: Bizarre children's books.
I'll pull together some prizes and details later, but the idea goes something this: you're reading along in a kid's book, when something happens that makes you step back and scratch your head and go, "huh??" It could be either a plot point, an unintended lesson the kids might be learning, or something just so anachronistic or off the wall, you cannot for the life of you figure out how it made it into print.
Just write a brief review or synopsis, then send it in, along with the book title, author, and a link to Amazon or your favorite online bookstore; if it's not wildly offensive, I'll post the entries here. [Be sure to include your own preferred credit/link info.] If you keep a blog or publish somewhere online, just send in the link.
So here are the first two entries, from Kaz, are about burying someone alive until they learn some humility, and encouraging kids to share their pants with others:
title:Henry and the Tunnel[I read that sharing book at the library with the kid yesterday; it seems like it's mostly about dopey kindergarten teachers and boys never being allowed to wear pink. -ed.]
author/illustrator: A W. Rev. Awdry
title: We Share Everything!
author/illustrator: Robert N. Munsch & Michael Martchenko
My daughter picked out the most bizarre Thomas book from the library last week.
The basic plot (I don't have it with me at work) is that there is this engine (not Thomas) who was afraid to leave his tunnel because it is raining, so the workers built a wall so he couldn't leave his tunnel. This made him sad. One of the other engines break down, so they remove the wall to see if he can pull the cars (sounds a little familiar). He does, and as a reward, he gets a new coat of paint.
Strangest plot I've ever read (after We Share Everything, featuring Jeremiah and Amanda, who learn to share in kindergarden by swapping shoes, then shirts, then pants).