#7 The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton

I don’t know if you guys are aware, but we all have belly buttons. Some of them are guuud, and some of them are NOT so good. Personally, I will always remember cutting Colin’s umbilical cord being fully aware of the fact that I would be in full control of his status as an innie or outie (I was not aware of any of these things – I only cared about helping him look LESS like the alien from the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull).


The Belly Button book is about how we all have belly buttons. Except it’s not, because human’s don’t exist in this book, only hippopotamuses, but it’s OK because they have belly buttons and they represent humanity. Hippos love belly buttons, BTW, and they take them to the beach and sing songs about them. 

That is all.

Oh, one hippo calls his belly button a “Bee Bo”

And one more thing…hippos don’t get to see their belly buttons in the winter because it gets too cold (It does not get to cold where hippos live, which is in Africa) and they have to layer correctly in order to keep warm. WHAT A SAD, BLEAK RAGNORAKIAN EXISTENCE!

Listen, I’m not trying to hate, but really guys? 

Crude drawings of hippos + belly buttons = Successful Book?

No, David Copperfield. No, thank you.

Also, I’m not sure if Ms. Boynton is aware, but hippopotamuses are considered to be one of the most aggressive and dangerous animals in Africa.


They are killing each other; youre next.

They are killing each other; you're next.


I would like to ask the author why her discussion of hippo activities at the beach does not include ATTACKING HUMANS????


My general distrust of hippos also comes from their involvement with Congo.

I know he’s dead, but Michael Crichton is the worst, guys.

Published in: on December 31, 2008 at 3:56 am  Comments (2)  
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#5 A Smidgeon of Pigeon: The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!


Hey that’s me!

The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too! is the appropriately lengthened all too brief story of a Bus Driver’s request for the Pigeon to show us her happy face, which she denies. Such a brash question causes our heroine to fly into anger followed by sadness. The Bus Driver then compromises, telling the Pigeon that she does not have to show the world what it looks like when she is happy. Tasting sweet victory, the Pigeon explodes in pure orgastic (Fitzgerald uses it, read the Great Gatsby) joy, only to realize far too late that she has been bamboozled.

The End.

And by the way, you don’t even have to read the book now, because that summary has even MORE words than Willems’ text.The book is a part of the “Smidgen of Pigeon” series, which is basically a few board books consisting of only a few pages. The brevity is the book’s weakness. GIVE US WHAT WE WANT MO – MORE PIGEON!

Ultimately the brevity of the book (it’s a Board Book to Infants, Tyler) is its hindrance. I point to the immaculately paced Pigeon Wants a Puppy, where Pigeon’s attitude and sass are allowed to breathe; see, that’s the thing about irony – it gets better as it grows thicker. Unfortunately, I have to conclude that some EVIL children’s book publisher (probably a subsidiary of Scribner’s) offered Mr. Willems an offer he couldn’t refuse so that he could continue doing RADIO CARTOONS.

This blog has already discussed how Mo Willems is not only IRONIC, but also a great basketball player. Some critics have pointed out how his stats are down from last year:

17.2 PPG, 6.3 APG, 3.5 RPG  vs.  16.2 PPG, 4.1 APG, 3.3 RPG

But you have to take into account the fact that the best player on Willems’ team last year was Michael Redd who (while extremely valuable) was the 15th guy on a 12 man US Olympic Team. Willems now gets to play with the guy who was THE BEST player on that team.

By the way, who knew that DELONTE WEST would turn into a competent basketball player??? I never thought I’d say this, but it seems that LeBron James is actually an inspiring teammate; take a look at West’s stat line. As a disappointed Wizards fan, I watched him simply be a GREAT second banana in last year’s annual first round exit. 

And speaking of LeBron, apparently all he wanted for Christmas was back-scratcher. Yeah, dude is so down to Earf (Lebron James is the opposite of down to Earth).

BUT, I must admit that my favorite commercial of 2008 is easily:

First Hova and now Weezy? What about Yeezy?

Oh yeah, this is a blog about CHILDREN’S BOOKS.

Anyway, I’m growing a little worried about Pigeon. Her manic states simply wreak of bipolar disorder. I ask the public, she PIGEON be the kind of person our children should be reading about?

Sorry for the brief post, but I can’t write much about a book with only 6 pages.


Published in: on December 30, 2008 at 6:24 am  Comments (1)  
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Don’t Touch That: Dane Cook

There is a lot of culture out there. Not all of it is good. In fact, most of it is terrible. “Don’t Touch That” is Tyler’s mission to make you (the reader) aware of certain aspects, trends, and especially people from which you should hide your children if only for the future.

You would think that I would warn you about Dane Cook for any one of several obvious reasons. His humor is bracingly adult (his humor is infantile); his films exist outside the 0-12 demographic; his language leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. I could easily write a post about keeping Dane Cook away from your kids for any of these reasons, but I feel as if there is really only one reason your children should not meet DC… 

He is not funny.


Whoops, I like penguins.

Whoops, I like penguins.

Not. Funny. 

Listen, I’m not trying to judge here; if you watch his stand up specials while slapping your knee and you were first in line for “Good Luck Chuck,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Employee of the Month” that’s fine (that is not fine – you should not be doing these things). Here’s the thing, your sense of humor probably cannot be saved – it’s most likely ruined. But your children still have a shot. Anyway, how is Dane Cook not funny? Oh let me count the reasons: 

1. I’m not even sure Dane Cook is a comedian. Why? He does not tell jokes. There are no set-ups followed by punch lines in his act. Only gyrations and terrible girlfriend-voices followed by screaming and yelling.

2. “BROOOOOOOOOOOOOO” is not funny. 

3. I watched the special “Vicious Circle” the other night to try and understand why people find him funny (I do these things on a Friday night for you, that’s how much I care). Now I have a pretty high tolerance for pain (don’t even ask how many times I’ve actually sat through a Jeff Dunham special – and we’ll be dealing with him soon) but an hour into the special I noticed that there was still another HOUR AND A HALF of his “comedy.” Here’s a list of things Mr. Cook makes jokes about:

            -Lying is Fun and how to lie.

            -Being stuck in a bad relationship sucks

            -What will happen when DC goes to heaven?

            -Why a bro has to cry sometimes.

            -Naming his son Optimus Prime would be cool.

Just from those premises does that even sound REMOTELY funny? Apparently yes. BECAUSE “VICIOUS CIRICLE” HAS SOLD 2 MILLION CDs. That means there are literally MILLIONS  of people in this country who find Dane Cook so funny that he bears repeat listens. 

5. When asked about his comedic style, Dane Cook has this to say:

“I wanted to create a stage persona for myself that allowed me to really speak about anything I want… So I can be a storyteller, I can be jokey, I can be corny, I can be a little vulgar, I can be a lot vulgar. And I’m not afraid to go anywhere to get the point of the joke across, even if I have to just blabber like an idiot until it becomes apparent that I’m telling a joke and that the audience should laugh.”

Listen, Dane, if you have to make it apparent to your audience that you are telling a joke, then that means that you are NOT GOOD AT TELLING JOKES.

Ultimately, the biggest problem I have with Dane Cook’s success is that it is so unmerited (I’m really not trying to hate). We’ll be talking about the Blue Collar guys eventually, but at least they appear to try hard at crafting a joke via observation + set-up + punch line. Say what you will about Larry the Cable Guy’s content (oh, and I will say a lot), but at least he understands the formula. Dane Cook’s career is solely based on marketing and hype (oh and also THEFT). He’s the comedy version of Vampire Weekend.

Guys, listen, he created a new way to flick people off. Is that really even necessary? Is Dane Cook even necessary?

So, in summation: Dane Cook is definitely the worst and any card out of either deck in Apples to Apples is funnier than he could ever hope to be if he fell into a funny ocean on a planet of hilarity. As of right now, he is definitely the Twilight of Comedy.

Hi, we are collectively Dane Cook. BTW, we cannot act either.

Hi, we are collectively Dane Cook. BTW, we cannot act either.

Published in: on December 1, 2008 at 6:22 pm  Comments (1)  
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