Deanna Molinaro's Not-for-Children Books
October 1, 2007 11:27 AM   Subscribe

Deanna Molinaro's Not-for-Children Books consist of two bizarre picture books involving sea creatures, and a surprisingly touching story about an alligator. While you're there, check out a few additional paintings and drawings.
posted by CrunchyFrog (10 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
There's nothing in the alligator one that makes it not-for-children. Made-up words are common (Seuss, Prelutsky) and whimsical phrasing isn't uncommon (Henkes among others).

Oops--the page itself says that one is OK for children. OK.
posted by DU at 11:58 AM on October 1, 2007

The alligator story is cute.
posted by jquinby at 12:04 PM on October 1, 2007

I actually thought The Lonely Sea Monster was the best one for kids--my kids would enjoy the mixture of macabre and whimsy. The Alligator one was too precious--the words weren't so much "made up" as meant to be the kinds of adorable manglings children produce. My kids are not amused by that kind of joking; it either goes over their heads because they're not familiar with the word being mangled, or, if they do recognize it, they're offended because they think they're being made fun of. I think they'd enjoy the story and the make-believe (in fact, my three-year-old did enjoy the parts I read to him when he came to look over my shoulder at the computer) but I thought the malapropisms were a bit condescending.
posted by not that girl at 12:06 PM on October 1, 2007

The alligator one is actually really nice. The octopus one is bizzare while only barely treading into funny.
posted by GuyZero at 12:08 PM on October 1, 2007

The octopus one is good, but if I may say, the reason a three year old would like it is that it's abrupt. I doubt s/he has a sense of the macabre other than "lol he eated her up!!".

My kids are kind of sensitive (where by "sensitive" I mean "kind of wusses"--one of them doesn't even like to hear the WORD "blood") so a little girl who ends up eaten would probably leave them with kind of a grimacey smile of "that didn't really just happen" along with hours of questions about why I read it to them.
posted by DU at 12:21 PM on October 1, 2007

Her drawings are very reminiscent of Maurice Sendak. The alligator story reminds me of Where the Wild Things Are, a lot. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

I loved the sea monster one, but then again, I have a case of the Mondays.
posted by found dog one eye at 12:29 PM on October 1, 2007

Yep, there's a really strong Sendak vibe to this. Especially his "Alligators All Around" and the other Nutshell Library books.
posted by hamfisted at 1:26 PM on October 1, 2007

Thought the octopus one was the best.
posted by milestogo at 3:05 PM on October 1, 2007

I thought the sea monster was one was hysterical. I think I might buy it.

Ditto on the Sendak thing. Pierre from the Nutshell Library was kinda dark too, as I recall - something about getting eaten by lions?
posted by naoko at 3:09 PM on October 1, 2007

exactly what 'not that girl' said.

Also, I'm wondering if children are indeed the intended audience for these stories..none of them really push any boundaries further than your general Grimm Fairy Tales or Roald Dahl material. Or Shel Silverstein even. "Not-For-Children" seems like a strategy meant to attract children to it.

Liked some of the drawings...i think her skills are better as an illustrator than a storyteller.
posted by troubles at 5:40 PM on October 1, 2007

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