Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! Again!

New releases

Did you ever have the suspicion that the entire world was secretly scheming to make your life difficult? Well, you were wrong. That was just paranoia. Because the entire world is scheming just to make my life difficult, not yours.

Take, for example, the new book Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!, which is a board book written by Cala Spinner and illustrated by my pal, Robert Pope. Now, this is a Charlie Brown Christmas book, but it is not an A Charlie Brown Christmas book. Rather, it tells  the tale of all the different Christmas trees that members of the Peanuts gang have, from Spike’s decorated cactus to Peppermint Patty’s one adorned with old math homework.

The book itself is perfectly fine; it should keep the young set that board books are aimed at interested, and the images are well done. The cover has a nice sparkle layer over the snow. It’s a perfectly fine book.

No, my problem is the title. Y’see, it’s not the first book with that title. It’s the third – the first one was a Look-And-Find book that came out in 2011. The second? A totally different board book that came out just two years ago! There was more than a half century of Peanuts books before anyone said “hey, let’s name a book Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, and now it’s being done repeatedly. Surely, this is just to cause me problems. Even as I type this, in the Secret Conspiracy Base ‘N’ Things shop somewhere in the mountains of Delaware, the Head Conspirator is telling publishers “okay, over the next seven years every one of you will publish a book called The Easter Beagle Eats a Bagel. Doesn’t matter what’s in it.”

If you’ve got a toddler who would be interested in this book, give it to them before Christmas, so that they can be using it to get into the Christmas spirit, rather than giving it to them on Christmas, so that they don’t get to really enjoy it until Christmas is over. That’d be my strategy, anyway.

Now excuse me, I don’t hear any ninjas in my pantry, and that proves they’re there!

New releases
Linus or not, here it comes!

Now shipping is I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo!, the latest in the series that was originally part of “AMP Comics for Kids”, but has shorn that group name; the Amazon listing refers to it as part of “Peanuts Kids”, which you’ll find nowhere on the cover but is somewhere on a …

New releases
The mystery of Woodstock’s birth

When I  wrote The Snoopy Treasures, I risked wading one of our times hottest controversies: the origin of Woodstock. Now, when Woodstock appeared is a little tricky, because he wasn’t given that name for years, and there has more than one Woodstock-like bird at various times. But there was a standard …

New releases
Be Kind, Be Brave, Be You beview… er, review

On the market as of last week is Be Kind, Be Brave, Be You, a board book which is made up of three upbeat-positivity-type poems by Elizabeth Dennis Barton, with Peanuts illustrations by Scott Jerald. I actually found this one reasonably charming – I could see reading this to my kids …