Sunday, February 24, 2019

Review - Show and Tell

Show and Tell
by Robert Munsch
illustrated by Michael Martchenko
Date: 1991
Publisher: Annick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Ben wreaks havoc at school when he decides to bring his baby sister for show and tell.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm torn about this one. It's pretty funny in some parts, and has the signature repetition that I've come to expect from Munsch's books. Ben decides to take his baby sister to school for show and tell. He takes her in his knapsack, which the baby doesn't like. So the baby cries. This leads to the teacher, the principal, and a doctor to try to stop the baby from crying. They're all terribly inept adults, and Ben nails it when he asks, "What's the matter with this school?"

But I think what's causing the issue for me is the doctor and her giant needles. That part of the story could be funny for some kids, but absolutely terrifying and traumatizing for others. It implies that if you're sick, you need a needle full of something, which 1) isn't necessarily true, and 2) could make children worry unnecessarily and even keep their feelings of sickness to themselves for fear of getting stabbed with a syringe the size of a kindergartner.

I did like the ending (it's very meta), and the illustrations are great, as is usual in these books. Martchenko really did a great job with that last spread.

Overall, I don't know if I'd recommend Show and Tell. I think I'd have to be really sure the reader was okay with needles before even suggesting this one.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.5 out of 5

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