The Bookshelf: Not Your Typical Dragon

Not Your Typical Dragon - Dan Bar-elAs much as I was terrified going to the book fair this week after seeing their suggestions in their flyer, we made it out with a few good books. We steered clear of the right side of the library and ended up finding some wonderful books…so there is hope out there. Of the six books we purchased, this is my favorite. Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el and illustrated by Tim Bowers. First, like many books, I was drawn to the illustrations. They were vibrant and fun. The dragon’s facial expression stole my heart. Good job Bowers, you drew me in. The old me would have just purchased the book because I loved the illustrations and my kids love dragons, but I’ve learned my lesson. I read a few pages.

That was it. In LOVE.

This cute little dragon, Crispin, isn’t what his parents expected. He’s different. He doesn’t breathe fire!! Maybe some whipped cream or band-aids, but no fire. Crispin feels sad being different. However, when his “not-so-typical” talents help save the day, Crispin accepts that he’s unique and so does everyone else. There’s nothing wrong with being different. Being different is often an asset. No matter who you are; an athlete, a brainiac, tall, small…everyone has something to offer. I think this is such an important message for our children, and this book pulls it off with some good humor. We all really enjoyed it.

Elementary School Book Fair: Scholastic Disappoints

The Scholastic book fair is once again coming to our school next week. It will be nice to get some new books on the shelf. However, I was a little disappointed when the Scholastic flyer arrived in my son’s folder. I sat there at the table checking out all the titles of the books they were promoting and was saddened. Seriously, Scholastic you can do better than this.

Stay Alive #1 Crash? Cover complete with an airplane plummeting into the ocean.  This is elementary school!! Good luck to the parents that are trying to get their kids on a plane for their next Disney vacation!

stay alive

Zombie Goldfish, you can’t do better than that? That’s just disgusting.

zombie fish zombie goldfish

What happen to books with meaning? Books that make you laugh and teach you a good life lesson? Well, I guess “staying alive” would be teaching a lesson, but this is elementary school. Am I being naive to think that kids should be wanting to read things a little more wholesome? Is it just me that finds these titles a bit inappropriate for K-4?

Bookshelf – the ones that baffle me


There are books that make me scratch my head and wonder how did this get published? Caldecott, really? Some of the books end up in the giveaway pile and others my children really enjoy…which then again leaves me scratching my head.

There is The Underpants Zoo. Now I get it, it makes potty training and wearing underpants more fun, but my kids are passed that stage and still love this book. Probably because it says “underpants” fifty times.

Then there is this Dragons Love Tacos book. A New York Times best seller. Really? I don’t get it. This was my “book by its cover” purchase, then I read it. Dragons like tacos but not salsa. Okay. 40 pages of how dragons like tacos. Well, my kids love it…I just wish all three loved tacos.

Don’t even get me started on DinoTrux. Awful.

I think some of these really bother me because I sit and wonder “how did this get published?” You see, my husband wrote and illustrated a REALLY great children’s book, but to get something published is impossible. I did so much research and no one was accepting new material. You had to have a literary agent to be able to submit anything. I’m constantly toying with the idea with just self-publishing it as a e-book, but I visualize it sitting on someone’s bookshelf. Oh well. Maybe some day. Meanwhile, I’m just staring at these books and scratching my head.

What are some of your kids’ favorite books that make you wonder, why? Do we have to read that one again?