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A Reader of Fictions: Dystopian Storytime

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dystopian Storytime

I've always loved it when people tell me a story. That's why, as a special feature of Dystopian August, I am going to tell you guys a story. Two stories in fact! This i s largely an experimental feature. We'll see how it goes. Let me know if you like it!


Author: David Macaulay
Pages: 64
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Bought

Description from Goodreads:
After the last person has gone from the earth, sheep take over the world, make the same mistakes as humans, and eventually disappear as well.

BAAAA by David Macualay is, without a doubt, my favorite picture book of all time, due, largely, to the fact that it is one of the least appropriate for children picture books. BAAA would fall, I suppose, under the heading of post-apocalyptic perhaps more than dystopian, since clearly something happened to clear out all of the humans, though it's really not clear what since they left good behind as well as undamaged good. That part is a mystery, a creepy, creepy mystery.

This picture book will likely horrify any children that happen to read it, assuming they figure out that soylent green is people. Because of that fact, this book has never been particularly successful. The picture book format targets very young readers, but the subject matter and dark humor, with lots of intelligent references (Casablanca is one), make this a treasure for adults, who will, likely, never discover it. Most libraries, I believe, do not carry it, and, if they do, probably not in the picture book section.

BAAA is an underrated gem of a book, coming at twice the length of the standard picture book. This is one to buy and enjoy for yourself, not to share with the kiddies.


The Little Stormdancer

Author: Jay Kristoff
Pages: 20
Publisher: Self-Published

Source: Won from Claire Legrand

Description from Me:
A picture book companion to Jay's fantabulous steampunk dystopia Stormdancer.

As you may have already seen, I loved Jay Kristoff's Stormdancer with my whole heart. You should check out my review and interview of Jay while you're here. Or not. You know. Whatever.

This picture book proves that Jay has EVEN MORE TALENT. Like he needed it. Seriously, can't you leave any talents for the regular people? You do know people are boring without flaws, right?

In The Little Stormdancer, an incredibly brief, simple tale set in the same world as Stormdancer, you get to follow Yukiko on a journey through a land filled with smoke and noisy machines in search of the animals. The pictures are incredibly precious. Though I'm not generally a fan of the chibi style of art (gasp, I know), Yukiko and Buroo are so freaking adorable this way that I want to love them and squeeze them and put them in my pocket and keep them with me forever.


Remember: Every comment on a post during Dystopian August is an entry to win one of fourteen dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels IF you've filled out the form from this post.

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Blogger Alessandra said...

Wow, that BAAA book is both fascinating and terrifying. It sort of reminds me of picture book adaptations of Orwell's Animal Farm.

I'm saving The Little Stormdancer for another time :)

August 25, 2012 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind said...

Continue Doing this please! :D

Where did you find these book!? They are amazing and so out of the norm.

The BAAA product sounds like drugs. I would let my kid read the book when I have one but I it would be later so I don't traumatize them.

The Little Stormdancer is adorable XD
They don't look very chibi to me though.

August 25, 2012 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger aLilLacey said...

Everything i have has to do with Lamb's so even though BAAA sounds like a crazy creepy picture book, I've really got to have it! Thanks for doing a review on a not so normal book

August 26, 2012 at 12:03 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

There are definitely some comparisons between Animal Farm and BAAA, I would say. I love both!


August 27, 2012 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay! Glad you like it!

I read BAAA for a class in library school in the Norton Anthology of Children's Literature. The Little Stormdancer I heard about and won from Claire Legrand's blog.

BAAA isn't drugs, but, yeah, I don't think young kids should read it, probably.

So cute!

August 27, 2012 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Very creepy and out of the norm. That's what I love about it! Also, so many stark observations of human behavior.

August 27, 2012 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger Lynn K. said...

BAAA looks interesting! I'm definitely checking it out if I see it in bookstores. ;)

Yukiko and Buruu were so adorable in The Little Stormdancer! I was lucky enough to win a copy from Jay (he's talented indeed) and I loved the drawings. I read TLS before Stormdancer and it wasn't until I went back that I appreciated the little touches even more (the little hearts surrounding Kin in the page with the airship :P)

August 28, 2012 at 1:38 AM  
Blogger Lynn K. said...

I loved how you read it as well! So many expressions xD

August 28, 2012 at 1:40 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Right? I did the same thing, read TLS first. After I read Stormdancer, I was like I KNOW WHO ALL OF THESE CHARACTERS ARE!!! They're SO cute. :-D Also, TLS gets a happy ending. :-p

August 28, 2012 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger M.A.D. said...

Loved those illustrations ... and you did a GREAT job with the story telling! <3 Hope you'll make this a regular feature!

BAAA sounds like an undiscovered gem, thanks for bringing this one to the fore :)

August 29, 2012 at 2:12 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

BAAA is stellar, if not well-targeted to the audience. :)

August 29, 2012 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Lilian said...

I love storytime!
When I was a child, my mom would to read to me before bed. Then gradually she forgot, but I really wanted to find out what happens next...so I was like "screw this, I'll read it myself!"
So I do think my mom did a good job imbuing me with a love of stories...even if she didn't aim to do so.

I've never heard of BAAA. I just did a search for it in the Hawaii Library system, and they don't have it...even though they have many others by David Macaulay. O_O
At first I wasn't sure what was happening, then I read an Amazon review and it said: Each time the sheep riot, many are killed and a mystrious food called "Baaa" becomes available.
Then it all clicked (I first thought Baaa was drugs that kept the population fed and happy). Sometimes my brain dies on me.

I LOVE CHIBIs. Easy to draw, and super cute.
I listened to you read The Little Stormdancer twice...and I still don't know what happened. Either it was super brief, or I was zoning off.

It'll make you sound all fancy and posh.

August 29, 2012 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Bahaha. Mom fail and accidental win. My parents read to me for years like all the time. Then we read together. Then I started reading to them. There was really no way I wasn't going to become an insane reader.

You're not the only person to think that. I don't know why it was so obvious to me. Maybe because I am a GENIUS.

Lol. It is super short. And the drawings are simple and adorable. Drawings probably isn't the right word since they're computer generated, I believe. I DON'T KNOW ART TERMS. LALALALALALA


August 30, 2012 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Lilian said...

Books were my toys as a child. During my breaks, I wanted to go to the library ALL THE DAYS. But then my mom was like "oh gosh, no." And I wanted to swipe ALL THE BOOKS off the shelves (not much different from now) and my dad was like "you want to borrow TWENTY books?"...like twenty books was even a bit deal. THEY WERE CHILDREN'S BOOKS, DADDY.
I remember getting my library card when I was five I guess my dad wa too fed up with taking his out of his wallet??). Then it got so worn and it's lamination was peeling, so they gave me a new one, And I was so proud to have a hipster, old library card so I can be like "HA! I GOT MY LIBRARY CARD EARLIER THAN YOU!". hmph.

I do think drawing is the right word. congratulations!

As much as I want to be the only genius in the house, I must admit that Baaa stumped me *wallows in self pity*

I was listening to the first few chapters of Austen's Pride and Prejudice's audiobook, and I swear the next ten minutes after that I was hearing echos of british accent in my head.

August 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Bekka said...

I have no idea how I missed this post! The Little Stormdancer is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. I need to get my hands on a copy.

August 31, 2012 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Isn't it adorable? *sighs*

August 31, 2012 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

LOL. Poor lil' hipster Lilian had her old, scruffy library card taken away. WHERE IS YOUR STREET CRED NOW?

Well, I do kind of get the limiting children's books just because they probably get lost a lot.

WOO. I am a genius all of the time.

Wah wah. Maybe you just need to have heard about soylent green?

I heard the Austen audios aren't great.

August 31, 2012 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Lilian said...

My mom still has a old style library card because she usually has me borrow books for her. My mom doesn't like to carry cards around (I suppose she's paranoid?)
I guess my dad does as well since her barely uses his. He only goes to the library to read newspapers, donate my stack of books, and sometimes to buy a book or two.

I just donated two hardcover copies of Andrew Gross's 15 Seconds to the library, one of them unread--courtesy of my selfish giveaway entering. I wanted to keep one, but my bookshelf is getting out of hand. The request list is at 90 people O_O.

I agree.

I remember accidentally having Sarah, Plain, and Tall slipped under my rug. >__< My mom found it later so I only had to pay the late fee.
It annoys me that I have a book that I swear I returned unless I was hallucinating, but is still missing...the library was forgiving and just marked the book "claimed returned."
But even after seven years, it's still on my record. DID SOMEONE STEAL IT FROM THE RETURNS OR SOMETHING? Stupid Yu-gi-oh book.

Solyent Green isn't even from my generation! I did end up reading a Wiki page about it though, so I MUST BE AN EXPERT ON THE TOPIC!

I wouldn't know, I only listened to three chapters.
I know Tina Fey's Bossypants is awesome in audiobook format.
And so is Chris Colfer's book: his writing is not that great, but him being an actor makes him perfect for voice acting in the audiobook.
Although after hearing him ready some of the clunkier sentences, I am wondering why he didn't fix them. There's no way they sounded good off the tongue. Or so I think.

September 8, 2012 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

My dad lost his card years ago and either has me or my mom check things out for him. When I do it, he always runs up fines, which would be annoying except that he pays for them and for mine. :-p

Oh, well, that's nice! The library will be glad for another copy. You could have done a giveaway on your bloggity blog, but supporting the library is good.

Right? Sometimes I look everywhere and I'm like I RETURNED IT, LIBRARY. And they believe me. Then I find it later and I'm like IT WAS GREMLINS.

It's not from my generation either. I've never seen it, but I've HEARD about it.

Oooh, duly noted. I will listen to the audio! Or why didn't his editor fix it?

September 10, 2012 at 8:48 AM  

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