Nine Months In, Nine Months Out
Obligatory Pre-Blogher Freak-Out Post

Select Book Reviews From the Storch Family Library

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was not paid to do any of these reviews and I paid for all of these books with my own cash money, except for maybe one or two that I received as political campaign hush incentives
Christmas presents from my mom. Also, these are not actually reviews at all, because whatever, like I care about giving you people useful content. I mean, really.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Noah (at age 3 months to like, two years): Awesome! Eric Carle's finest work. A tour de force of meter and rhyme and bright colors and OMFG PURPLE CAT AAAHAAAA HAA HAAAAA.

Ezra (like, always, and still): I hate this book. Stop reading me this book.

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

Noah: *learns a very important lessons about the inevitable disappointment of sequels*

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?

Amy: "And that's how George Lucas and the Wachowski brothers ruined their franchises. The end. Goodnight, sweetie."

Peek-a-Boo Baby Faces!

Noah: Are you kidding me with this nonsense? Photos of stupid babies with one word of text per page? Honestly, Mother, I'm not sure what's worse: that you paid money for this crap, or that you didn't think of it yourself, thus making a fortune and then using that money to buy me MORE INTERESTING BOOKS.

Ezra: Babies! Hi babies! Yay babies! A tour de force of absolutely nothing happening! Two slobbery thumbs up!

Almost Practically Every Book Sandra Boynton Has Ever Written, And Holy Shit, That's a Lot

Noah: Yeah, I'm a little old for these, but MAN, that Blue Hat, Green Hat one gets me EVERY. TIME.

Amy: *is probably a little overly fond of What's Wrong Little Pookie? than she should be*

Guess How Much I Love You

Noah: Ugh.

Ezra: Whatever.

Amy: SOB

The Giving Tree

Noah: What happened to the tree? Where'd the tree go? Mommy, WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT TREE?

Ezra: *poops*


Love You Forever


Ezra: I concur.

Amy: You know, this book is kinda creepy, what kind of mother spies on her grown son and...oh...Oh. OH. SOB SOB SOB SOB SOB SOB SOB SOB (breathes) SOB SOB SOB SOB

T-Rex & Friends, aka Some Hand-Me-Down Cloth Busy Book Thing


Ezra: *nom nom nom nom delicious busy book nom*

You Can Go To The Potty!

Noah: I liked the part where the boy went to the potty.

Amy: I dunno, but the exclamation point in the title had me thinking this book would be a bit more exciting.

Hands Are Not For Hitting

Amy: Damn skippy.

Make Way For Ducklings

Noah: My favorite book in the entire world, the only one that is remotely acceptable to read before bed, and OMFG DUCKS! LOOK! LOOK! I SEE DUCKS IN A BOOK ABOUT DUCKS WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

Amy: Please let me read you something else Please let me read you something else Please let me read you something else

Jason: *quietly retells the story of a shrewish Mrs. Mallard and her deadbeat husband who abandons the eight ducklings to run off with a slutty swan*

Noah: *totally doesn't notice because OMFG DUCKS DUCKS DUCKS*

The Monster at the End of This Book

Noah: Yay!

Amy: Yay! Something from my childhood that is actually as good as I remember! Take that, stupid ducks.

The Snowy Day, by EZRA Jack Keats, Bitches

Noah: Also yay, although mostly for the page that says: PLOP. Because "PLOP" is apparently the funniest word in the English language.

Amy: This book should be required reading for everybody on earth, just so they'll stop thinking that we 1) made Ezra's name up, 2) gave him a girl's name, or 3) named him after a band that I didn't even think was around anymore, because I guess I suck at fact-checking.

Green Eggs & Ham

Noah: I love this book, I adore this book, I refuse to notice any sort of applicable life lesson from this book.

Amy: Holy crap, does this book ever end? Was this book always this long? My God, it's like if J.K. Rowling wrote The Half-Blood Prince using just 50 words for 800 pages. More, more, Dumbledore said with a roar, just before slamming Snape's hand in the door.

Amy: *totally has a brilliant, not-at-all-copyright-violating idea*

Goodnight, Moon

Noah: Pure board book magic.

Ezra: The greatest book I have read in my entire life, and I'm pretty sure I've read AT LEAST four.

Amy: Why is no one concerned about the fucking mouse? Why don't the kittens kill the mouse? And just who is that quiet old lady? Shouldn't somebody put that leftover mush in some Tupperware? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.


Maxine Dangerous

"Please let me read you something else Please let me read you something else Please let me read you something else" made me LOL. You rule. :D


Oh my gawd, Amy, you rock the English. Love you, love your boys, love this post. More like this one! What ELSE can you and Ezra and Noah review together??? 'Cause I am SO THERE.

There are a couple that still make me cry... "The Fire Cat," with poor misunderstood Pickles, and his only advocate, the aptly named but creepily drawn Mrs. Goodkind. And "Are You My Mother," which... oh holy shit, it wrecks me every time.

Jen L.

Sheer brilliance.

I also have food-preservation concerns about the mush in Goodnight Moon. My son calls it "go-goo" which means yogurt, so it REALLY should be refrigerated.

I adore Sandra Boynton and also have a soft spot for Pookie. The Belly Button book's my favorite.

I find it comforting that my husband and I are not the only ones who make up scandalous side-stories about children's book characters. Thank you for the validation. ;)

OMFG Please write a kid's book. PLEEEEZE.

Katie Kat

Oh, and I forgot a couple... "How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight" and "How Does a Dinosaur Eat His Food" are really fun.

But the ONE that makes me want to go ballistic is "Good Dog Carl." I mean SERIOUSLY? You left a Rottweiler in charge of a BABY? And all he does is put the baby in one horribly dangerous situation after another and practically KILLS him and then gets called GOOD DOG? The parents should be charged with child abuse at the end of THAT book.


I cannot stand Goodnight Moon... cannot. But we too love "Monster at the End of this Book" and "Make Way for Ducklings"

Some of our favorites (ones that we all love) --

*Hooray for Fish*

*I'm the Biggest Thing in This Ocean* -- which has a hilarious ending if you ask me :O)

*How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight* -- I agree with the others, awesome book!

*Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel* -- I loved that book when I was a kid too

*Ferdinand* -- same here

*Madeline* -- Connor loves it as much as Caydee even though some would consider it a "girlie" book.

And ps -- I've never heard of a girl named Ezra... never.


We named our first son Asher, and I can't tell you how many annoying people thought we had named him "Ashley". SO. ANNOYING. Now, though, the name Asher is making a comeback, apparently, so nobody questions it.

You have to find the book "Owl Babies". Huge hit here.

If I have to read one more Little Einsteins book, though, I may end up poking my eyes out with a red-hot skewer. That show does not translate to the printed page, Disney.


I love What's Wrong Little Pookie. It always makes me laugh.
And recently I bought Everybody Poops. That book is hilarious!


I totally hear you about Ezra's name. I named my son Otto and, no I did not name him after the bus driver on the Simpson's. Ezra and Otto are real names and they are both great names! Also "I Love you Forever" is super creepy. I'm over it.


My boys are crazy for Personal Penguin and Snowy Day.

Your Green Eggs and Ham quip made me laugh so hard I think I peed a little.

Oh...and Goodnight Gorilla is awesome. It is hardly and words, too, so the reading of it doesn't get tedious.


Thank you for voicing your Goodnight Moon concerns! My daughter loves that book but I too have many unanswered questions and thought it was just me. Most disturbing is that the "quiet old lady whispering hush" is NOT a quiet old lady at all! She is some sort of rabbit, right? Or something is really wrong with her ears.

The book reviews were great.

Amy @ Thoughts of THAT Mom

Oh my gosh! This is awesome! I think this is seriously like the best book review I have EVER read in my ENTIRE life! (And I review books in my non-blog life!)

Thanks for the laugh!

BTW, Have I told you what a SPECTACULAR name you have?



favorite line..."Ezra: *poops*"

if there was a pulitzer for blog posts, you'd win it with this one.


"like I care about giving you people useful content. I mean, really."

Precisely the attitude I've come to cherish in a blogger!


Isn't Better Than Ezra a band from Baton Rouge? They used to play at The Varsity by LSU all the time when I was in college.

On to the actual topic, "Where Is The Poop" is a big hit with my 3 year old. The animals poop, and you lift the flaps to find it, and then, on the last page, the boy poops, and you lift the flap to find it in the potty.

We read it at Barnes & Noble, because I'm not bringing a book with pictures of poop into my house. (We have enough real poop to last us awhile.) (It occurs to me that the copy of the poop whereabouts book at B&N might possibly be gross and germy. Ack!)


I always assumed it was Ezra Pound.

Halala Mama

LOVE it! I'm looking forward to the day that something other than Dinosaur Colors is acceptable.


Re: The name Ezra

I used to teach high school English, and when we read Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler, the kids would all get confused about the gender of the character Ezra. They would argue with me and say the author made it up, that it was surely a girl name. Having that conversation with them made me concerned for the future of America and also made me want to hit my head on the wall.

anna samantha

Prance with the horses, Skitter with the mice. Swing with your partner once or twice. Stand with the donkey. Slide with the sheep. Scramble with the little chicks- CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP! With a NEIGH and a MOO and a COCKADOODLEDOO another little promenade two by two That and The Eleventh Hour should get you through. I don't think a week passes that I don't think about skittering with the mice. Seriously.


Dude. Boynton's Barnyard Dance! is the bomb diggity. I still quote it and my sons are 15 and 18. Heh.


Down heah in the Souuuth,
Guess How Much I Love You would be Guess How Many Shots I Can Fire At This Home Intruder With My Shotgun Before I Have To Stop And Reload.


I heart the Monster at the End of this Book. And That's Not my Fairy. And we don't read Good Night Moon anymore because it totally confuses me.


Ha! I concur! I have 3 kids...and I teach K...and I have read those f'ing books for 25 years now...I dream about that quiet old lady whipsering "hush!"


Highly recommend "Let's Go Home, Little Bear" by Martin Waddell (Scholastic). A story of Plodders, Drippers, and PLOPpers!


I never thought Ezra was a girl's name and definitely gave you guys the benefit of the doubt and figured you WOULDN'T have named him after the band. Instead, I figured you were naming him after the poet, Ezra Pound. Who totally rocks, by the way and was totally a MAN.

Also, I was a little bit jealous that I didn't think of Ezra for a boy's name--not that I have kids, but someday--and now I simply cannot steal it.


Our family were always disturbed by Curious George! Really! The Man With The Yellow Hat abducts the poor monkey from his home in Africa, gives him the "salve name" George, and then TMWTYH further demonstrates his criminal irresponsibility by leaving his illegally-acquired charge unsupervised in potentially lethal situations...good child-friendly fun! To give my self closure I have composed a revenge sequel to this series called "Five Fists of Furious George" .

Sugared Harpy

I'm sorry you get flack for Ezra, because it's such a nice name.

But I got flack for my son's name, too, so I feel you. His name is Brett. Totally normal right? Except he is Brett Michael.

In NO way did I connect Brett Michael with the washed out Poison singer. He was born in '96, way after his prime, way before Love Bus. Ugh.

He, however, thinks it rocks so whatever. But I do correct him, you are SO not named after Poison, young man!!


I love the reviews--and the comments! I had forgotten all about "Make Way for Ducklings" but now have to go find it. And "The Monster at the End of This Book"? I love it--for the same reason. SO many of my childhood favorites just haven't held up that well, but that one's still hilarious! (And Uncle Wiggily--it was my dad's when he was little, and now I read it to my 5-year-old. Weirdly dated about a "rabbit gentleman" and his "automobile," but somehow still very sweet.)

Now I have to go explore "Goodnight Moon" for all the disturbing details that apparently eluded me before.

And I bought Ezra (who's now 3) "The Snowy Day" for his first birthday. When my husband suggested the name, he was thinking of Ezra Pound, and I immediately thought of Ezra Jack Keats. I thought it was a pretty terrific pair of people to be named after! (And we also get the "is that a girl?" question. What's that about? And questions on how to spell it. It's only got four letters! Sound it out!)

I can't wait to read your Seuss-ified Harry Potter stories!


This post is sheer brilliance. And I don't just say that because I am a children's librarian. Also, I love Ezra's name.


hilarious! I love The Monster at the End of this Book. I've started hoarding books for the baby's nursery and that's one of the ones I demanded my mom fish out of the basement.


Board books with photos of baby faces on them are SHEER BRILLIANCE.

Lucy's Mom

I feel like such a sentimental chump, I loved all my kids' children's books (although I never read "Love You Forever"). Your take on children's reading choices has taken my down a peg or so but it is quite funny. BTW, I (and my kids) loved all of Ezra Jack Keats' books - incredible illustrations. And, as a parent of a daughter, I can't help but say the single best book for your child is "Miss Rumphius" (I might be spelling that wrong but it's close) - just beautiful. Two other books for about K5 level are "The Quiltmakers Gift" and "The Old Woman Who Named Things". My teenagers still remember reading both and they have very good hearts - which is no small feat for teens.

Lynette Mattke

I love your trip through the list of books. I can relate! And good thing there are a lot of choices, because the kids never agree on the same book!


Dude! The Green Eggs and Ham meets Harry Potter just made
me spit my hot coffee all over
my monitor! Genius.



And don't worry, I'd heard of Ezra before. In fact, we have some good friends whose little boy is named that too.

Kate P

People really think you made Ezra's name up? Ummm....okay. No.

aimee @ smilingmama

I skip every other page in all our Dr. Seuss books. TOO LONG!


I notice that "Ten Minutes 'Til Bedtime" and "Goodnight Gorilla" (both by Peggy Rathman) are strangely missing. These are both awesome multi-age books. (Ask Noah to try to find the red balloon on every page of Goodnight Gorilla, for example.)


Goodnight Gorilla is my son's FAVORITE. We just make stuff out while reading it since it has no words. He can pretty much tell us the story now, so that's something. But OMG I am tired of it. I got one for my nephew just to share the pain with my sister.


At my house:

Baby Cakes...
Mommy: What a precious set of action rhymes! If we read this every day you will look forward to doing the actions! A perfect night time routine book!!
Toddler: WHOA that BEAR has a NOSE on that ONE PAGE! Let's find the page with the bear with the nose!!! (mommmy tries to show him the bear's nose in profile on a different page) hey, STOP IT... I need to get to the page where the bear has a NOSE!

Happy Baby - Animals by Roger Priddy:

Other than that, he's WAY more interested in the mechanics of turning pages than in being read to. I blame my husband for somehow overriding my bookworm gene.


dude. apparently using greater than/less than signs (triangle brackets) resulted in the website thinking it was html. stupid website.

anyhow the Animals book part went like this:
[at 12 mo: makes ALL animal noises every time. wants to repeat book constantly.
at 15 mo: makes some animal noises some of the time.
at 17 mo: does not want to look at the book OR make any animal noises.]


The Slutty Swan.



Have you ever read Louie by Ezra Jack Keats? My son would want me to read that book to him 50 thousand times for months and I choke up every blessed time. It got to the point where I would hide the book, but he'd find it! It's really good, just really emotional for me.


Funniest post EVAH. I'm still snorting Lean Cuisine out my nose as I eat lunch at my desk. I TOTALLY second The Monster at the End of This Book (there is a sequel - ehhh, not so much)and the Goodnight Moon questions. WTF??? Thanks for a Great Monday!


anyone ever notice the curtains on the cover of goon night moon are a different color than the ones throughout the book?

bad penguin

People think that Ezra is a made up name? Really?

Guess How Much I Love You and The Giving Tree make me sob too. Also causing waterworks: The Veleveteen Rabbit.

shriek house

Ahahaha! I just finished reading Charlotte's Web to my kids, and I cried, HARD. The 6-yr-old was all, "Mom. It's going to be ok." and the 3-yr-old was all, "I going to SQUISH dat spider!"


Is it silly that I'm really happy to see so many comments about children's books?

I mean yes, we're commenting about how awesome and funny the almighty Amalah is at the same time, but it's still fun to see I'm not the only one with a lingering obsession with the books I read when I was three.


I think I just fell in love with you.

(Hope that's not weird for you!) =)


I love to read Judith Viorst's Alexander and the No Good, Horrible, Shitty Beyond Belief Day (I'm sorry? That's not the exact title? Are you sure?) because it has run on sentences not unlike my blog comments... We have Boynton's collection of Bedtime Stories - 7 Short Stories for Lively Little [somethings]. It has sheet music at the end that DH refused to sing because he wasn't sure he was sight-reading correctly. Oh, please - it's a silly lullaby about chickens in the bathtub!


I don't recall reading You Can Go To The Potty! but it's a very captivating title indeed. This is a great post, very funny. I love it when Noah says he refuses to learn any life lesson from Green Eggs and Ham. That's kids, huh?


"Love you Forever"...fricken a....absolutely nauseating. My girlfriend and I laughed until we cried talking about that book...she loves where he is then rocking his 100 year old mommy in HIS lap?? AND considering it was my MOTHER IN LAW that gave it to us...should I not be just a little nervous when I hear a little tappity tap on the window cuz she's laid her LADDER up to our house and is climbing on up to our room to CUDDLE my husband?!? Yes, it still makes me cry though, wtf is that all about anyway?


I adore Sandra Boyton. All of her books are fabulous. The artwork is soooo cute.


I still can't believe that no one knows the name Ezra. It's a book in the Bible for goodness sake! Weird. Anyway, I share your love for The Monster at the End of This Book! Can't wait to read it to my kids when I have them!


Ummm...yeah, can't believe people think you made Ezra up. Maybe mention that it is also in a book they may have heard about...THE BIBLE (Old Testament...the Book of EZRA...morons...).

We got the same reaction to Guess How Much I Love You:
Son: Yawn...
Me: SOB SOB SOB...that is so beautiful...etc...


Our current nightly read is Polar Bear Night. The illustrations are crisp, simple and beautiful and the words are poetic but not rhymy. And the last page melts my heart with each read.


I enjoy greatly 'Goodnight, Moon' but am preoccupied by the scale problem- is the old lady/rabbit really huge or are the kittens extremely small?

someone help me!

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