Scanning the shelf for some inspiration, I pulled off a book I have never read before.  As luck would have it, I found the first sure-fire Destroy book in my house.

*The author is a previous winner of the Caldecott Medal 
*Bitty (the little mouse) does the right thing by staying near the spot where his parents lost him
*I think one of the adult mice might have been drinking a beer, which is a rarity in the children's book world, and probably explains how this whole story came to pass

*Loading an entire family into the back of a pickup truck with no bed door should have the Department of Rodent Child Services (or DRCS, fittingly pronounced "drecks") to the mouse house by this time tomorrow
*How do you play an entire game of baseball (a game where nine people are on the field at once) and not realize that only eight of your children are there
*If I was drawing this thing, I would have made the picnic food people-sized for the easy laughs -- but I guess the only thing Emily McCully sees as funny is when a small child falls out of the back of a moving vehicle

OK, first of all, this book cost $16.89 if you bought it new in 2003. Are you serious?  My guess is that the publisher tacked on a huge markup because of the author's previous Caldecott Medal (which a little research revealed is one of the two most prestigious awards an American children's book can receive).  Actually, the way they lay out the book's cover makes you think you might be buying the book that won the Medal.  That's pretty shady if you ask me.  Regardless of the intent, it appears that Ms. McCully was on a mission to win the Bizarro Caldecott, for the worst children's book of the year.  Mission accomplished!

Buy / Borrow / Donate / DESTROY

1 comment:

mysteryguy said...

Do I feel bad for trashing a lady over seventy? Yes, normally I would, but this review was warranted to protect people like you from making the same mistake. The craziest part of this entire situation is that "Picnic" won the Christopher Award. I don't know what that says about the nomination process, but it surely has me questioning the merits of the people in charge of handing out accolades in the publishing world. Seems like it might be an Old Boys and Girls Club, just like everything else in this world...I just assumed the Arts were above this.