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*****= An all-time favorite
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****The Book of Bad Ideas

by Laura Huliska-Beith

Reviewed May 7, 2002 and February 11, 2002
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2001
Megan Tingley Books, 2000.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library.  (E HUL)

This is one of those picture books that I forced everyone in the library to read when it came in.  The book begins, “Have you ever done something and then thought, ‘Uh-oh, that was a bad idea’?  We have.  Seems like a lot of bad ideas come from what start out to be ‘good ideas.’  Borderline GENIUS, in fact!  But then, something goes HORRIBLY wrong.  Well, this is a collection of some of our most ‘brilliant’ ideas that resulted in some VERY embarrassing moments.”

I feel slightly guilty about it, but I find this book hysterically funny.  I guess every adult remembers instances of having done such stupid things.  No, I never stuck a lima bean up my nose, like the boy on the page of “Bad Idea #98:  Cramming something into a tight space without knowing if you can get it back out,” but I’ll never forget that interesting smooth little rock I found one day when I was very small....  Or how about the time I thought my bean bag chair would make a great ride down the stairs, only to discover that it rolled?  Half the fun of reading this book to kids is remembering your own misadventures.  It’s good to let kids know that they’re not the only ones who have bad ideas sometimes, isn’t it?

Don’t worry, the book does make it quite clear that all of these ideas are indeed bad ones.  I don’t think that your kids will be tempted to try them.  No, they will shake their heads sadly and wisely agree, “That’s a bad idea!”  And maybe it will give them a little more freedom to laugh at themselves when it’s their own turn to have a bad idea.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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