when i first saw this title and cover, i said AWWWWW! and then, over the holiday season, so many people were praising this book in print and in person, i knew i needed to get a copy for myself. OR, to get a copy for greg because—fox—and read it before gifting it to him. because i am a monster.
for me it’s a mixed bag. on the one hand, the artwork is gorgeous
on the other hand, this
which just, no. like capital-letter NO with all of my being.
again, i am a monster. this is known.
show me a cute animal, and i melt like an ice cap, but human children inspire nothing outta me but low-level panic, gracelessly suppressed. i’m just…not interested, which makes me feel guilty as a human person and plays its part in my nightly insomniac personal reckoning/shame spiral. also keeping me from sleep is my cynical inability to be charmed by the well-intentioned but facile insights this book offers up to readers. because people are getting genuine comfort from this book and i feel like a dick for rolling my eyes and imagining these words carved on a block of wood and sold for like twenty dollars.
does this book have messages this girl needs to hear? hell yes.
but then this happens
and it’s like that olde aesop’s fable about the signal and the noise.
i am a monster. my dreams aren’t coming true, my ship’s not coming in, ‘at least i have my health’ doesn’t apply, i’m growing old and bitter, and platitudes really only work for people with vanilla froyo problems.
if i treat it like a book written in a foreign language, it’s great—i can enjoy the pictures, and i can recognize the individual words even though the messages mean nothing to me.
i am a monster. like the mole, i will eat all your cake.
also, i miss calvin and hobbes.
read in 2019/reviewed in 2020