Fuse #8

Friday, June 01, 2007

New Blog Alert

I stumbled across this one in my travels but it wasn't until Jarrett Krosoczka recommended it that I thought to give it a serious glance.

Bottom Shelf Books has existed since February of this year and, until now, has flown under the kidlit blogosphere's radar. The postings are consistently smart and funny. At this writer's hand the children's book regulars take on an entirely new meaning. Like so:

The Saggy Baggy Elephant becomes, "a prophetic warning about the effect of television (the parrot symbolizing the squawk box/tv) on our self-image and predicted the resulting rise of the plastic surgery industry (and in the case of some disturbing reality television shows, the apocalyptic combination of the two)."

Sandra Boynton's Moo, Baa, La La La! is now, "a warped democracy where candidates are not allowed to speak their own mind if it is not in line with their party. This only fuels the polarization of American bipartisan politics because candidates are forced to pander to party faithful or they won't even get a shot at the presidency. Obviously, this affects all politicians, whether they be pig, donkey, elephant, or emu."

And Miss Nelson is Missing completely cracked me up with, "The transformation from good to bad by switching to black hair and black clothing is a common narrative devise. The most recent instance of this is Spiderman 3. Peter Parker, loveable All-American boy, gets infected by an evil alien substance and his dark side begins to emerge. How do we know this? Easy. Peter Parker's every day appearance begins to change... he starts wearing all black, his hair starts to grow long and cascade down his forehead... before we know it, Peter Parker he has gone Emo on us. Bad news. By the way, I never thought that I'd be psyched to see a blockbuster action flick where Toby Maguire and Topher Grace duke it out. Seriously? I think that fight happened in my junior high and no one even stopped to watch."

Oh man. Oh man, that's good stuff.

Sole blog flaw? The writer has fallen under the spell of Big Munsch. I find it hard to believe that someone with this much wit in their heads could say of the greatest work of picture book piffle that, "If, somehow, you don't feel anything, then congratulations! You have a heart of pure stone and should pursue a career that will take advantage of your lack of a soul... like guillotine operator or investment banker." This from someone who thinks Runaway Bunny is co-dependent. Which it is. But give me my pick of the two and I'll trade in Munsch's magnificently creepy vibe for an eerily overprotective mother any day. Wonder how the author feels about The Giving Tree and Rainbow Fish . . . .

Definitely worth a look, all the same. Blogs of this sort don't walk down the street every day.

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At 9:39 AM , Blogger Minh said...

I can only defend myself by saying that I know Love You Forever is primo cheeseball material... but that can't stop me from guiltily wanting to call my mom after reading it!

But then again, I also get choked up while watching the Land Before Time and Special Olympics commercials, so maybe I just have a low threshold for sentimentality.

Anyways, I'm glad you like my blog! It's nice to find a fellow kid's book aficionado out there!


At 9:40 AM , Blogger Sarah Miller said...

"If, somehow, you don't feel anything, then congratulations! You have a heart of pure stone and should pursue a career that will take advantage of your lack of a soul... like guillotine operator or investment banker."

Call me a hair-splitter, but he did say if you don't feel *anything.* Creepy, repulsed, and/or irritated all qualify as feelings, don't they? ;)

At 11:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, Fuse, I'm with you 100% on the Rainbow Fish and Giving Tree stance. Seriously warped psychological views being espoused there. But, I have to disagree about Runaway Bunny. Kids do want to grow up and move on, but they want to know that the mama is there, still dependably loving them, and that is what this book is about. "I will always love you and be there for you if you need me." After all, the mother is not following her grown rabbit child to college, or anything. She's reassuring her liitle bunny that she'll be there as it grows up. Kids want to know that.

At 11:32 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Not to worry. The bunny book hasn't made it onto my triumvirate. I can see people's point with it, even if I disagree personally.


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