Children’s Books, Briefly: 2014-03-23
Posted by Tracy Poff on March 23, 2014
I had never read any of Marc Brown’s Arthur books before, so I’ve been catching up a bit. They’re not bad. The artwork really evolves over the first few books, and from the covers of later books I’m guessing that trend continues. Should be interesting to see how the books go, over the years.
Arthur’s Nose by Marc Brown
The first entry in the venerable Arthur series. Arthur is teased because of his nose, and considers rhinoplasty, but ultimately decides that he’s fine just as he is. Not too bad art, decent message. The highlight is Arthur trying on various other animals’ noses to see which he likes. Not a bad book, but the series does improve.
Arthur’s Eyes by Marc Brown
Second Arthur book. Arthur needs glasses, and is teased because of them. Eventually he learns that they are very helpful, and don’t look so bad after all. Better art than the previous book, and generally improved.
Arthur’s Valentine by Marc Brown
Third Arthur book. Nice art, and this one even has a real story. Francine is secretly sending Arthur valentines, but Arthur hopes it might be the new girl, Sue Ellen, sending them. Francine has teased Arthur in the previous books, and he gets her back with a little trick, once he discovers that she is his secret admirer. This is the best Arthur book so far.
Arthur and the True Francine by Marc Brown
The fourth Arthur book, though he scarcely appears. This time, Francine is in the spotlight. It’s nice to see her get a positive showing, here. The moral is that honesty is the best policy, but I’m not sure I agree with the book’s position that Francine shouldn’t reveal when her friend is lying. Loyalty is one thing, but… anyway, it’s still a pretty good book, though I liked Arthur’s Valentine a bit better.