Picture books

by Susan K. Mitchell / illustrated by Sherry Rogers

A baby platypus doesn’t know what he is or where he belongs. Other Australian animals try to help him. I found the illustrations mediocre and the plot annoying. One animal, the blue-tongued skink, constantly berates and mocks the platypus, then later gets his comeuppance by falling on a rock himself. This isn’t really the sort of message I want the Bwun to get from a book (or movie, or real life). I don’t necessarily look for books that will teach big lessons, but I do object to bad lessons snuck into the books I do get. Skip it.

A Day with Wilbur Robinson
{written and illustrated} by William Joyce

This was the basis for the film Meet the Robinsons, and I love Joyce’s book George Shrinks, so A Day with Wilbur Robinson seemed like a sure hit. The illustrations were fun, but, as with the film,┬áthere wasn’t much of a plot. It was simply a compilation of the kooky things that happen at the Robinson household. I think the story could be improved. Skip this and read George Shrinks instead.

Jungle Song
by Miriam Moss and Adrienne Kennaway

A baby tapir goes exploring in the lush rainforest, listening to the jungle song describing the many animals he encounters. The watercolor illustrations are off-the-charts amazing. Unfortunately, they’re accompanied by amateur rhymes and sloppy cadence. I do actually recommend looking through this book, but don’t feel bad about skipping the text entirely.