Don’t let it steer you wrong

New releases

I gotta admit, my expectations are low with almost every Peanuts kiddie storybook. I am, after all, a retired kiddie at best. These things are not (and should not be) aimed at me. This low expectation allows me to occasionally be pleasantly surprised by a nice little scene, a funny illustration.

Snoopy Flies to the Rescue!, however, manages to actually disappoint.

The reason for this disappointment is that this is billed as “a Steer the Story™ book.” There’s a cardboard steering wheel built into the book. It folds out on a little extension arm, so someone on the left (presumably a child being read to) can steer it, while someone on the right (presumably an adult or a very well trained cocker spaniel) reads the book to them. Now, the book is an interactive book — there are flaps to lift at various points, to reveal hidden things. But twice in the tale, the interaction is that you are told to steer, to help the Flying Ace control his plane.

And dagnabbit, based on the descriptor, I expected that steering to actually do something. To make something in the book wiggle or shift in some way. But no. Turning the wheel has no effect. It’s just a cardboard wheel pinned to a cardboard stick, no mechanism at all.

The storytelling by May Nakamura is okay, the art by Robert Pope is fine. The things revealed by the flaps are unimpressive. (Hey, lift this flap on the left hand page to see that Snoopy dresses up as the Flying Ace… which you already knew, because there is a big shot of the Flying Ace on the right-hand page.) The book ends with a pop-up… a single-piece pop-up, pretty much the minimum thing that could be described as a pop-up. Overall, this comes across as an item that is supposed to look good in an ad summary rather than one that is good in experience. If you want an interactive book, I bet ones with sound buttons will go over better than this.

New releases
To Mom And Dad With Love

The new kids book To Mom and Dad with Love says that it’s an adaptation of a The Snoopy Show episode “To Mom and Dad with Love”… which is interesting, because as things are sorted on the Apple TV+ service that hosts such things, this isn’t a The Snoopy Show …

New releases
The “new” Peanuts story

I just received Adventures with Linus and Friends!, the second of the three announced books in Simon Spotlight’s Peanuts Graphic Novels line. About half of the book is a reprint of the graphic novel adaptation of Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown, the direct-to-video special released in 2011. Most …

New releases
Shot down

I am not without ego. When I get a book of intellectual analysis about Peanuts, I don’t start by delving into the introduction or foreword. No, I dive right for the endnotes, the listing of the sources that the writers relied on in building their analysis. After all, with six …