on July 23, 2003
I love Snoopy; I loved Charles Schulz's comics. But this book is disappointing in its negative message - it goes too far with the "Charlie Brown is a loser" message - Charlie Brown's friends all laugh at him when he insists it's good to keep trying (I agree with Charlie Brown - making a mistake or not winning shouldn't be a signal to just give up and never try anything ever again) and he enters the spelling bee. There are no guarantees that something attempted after a failure will end in a success, but Charlie Brown's failure in the spelling bee isn't funny - nor is the way his friends make fun of him - nor is the general message of his "loser" status: it's completely depressing and the book ends with no hope whatsoever for Charlie Brown to be anything other than a loser... I don't want kids to get the message that if they make a mistake, if they don't win, then they're doomed to failure and no friends for the rest of their lives, do you?
on October 9, 2003
I don't think that Charles Schultz would be very pleased right now. Someone is taking his beloved Peanuts and making products just to make money. I love the Peanuts and I love Charlie Brown and when I saw this book in a department store, I thought, "Great, a new Charlie Brown book." Well, this book isn't quite the nut it's cracked up to be. Charlie Brown enters a spelling bee against the protests of his friends. He really thinks he can win, but when he finally gets his moment to shine, he messes up big time. The book ends by basically saying things are hopeless for Charlie. The ending is what really bothered me. Yes, Charlie Brown is a lovable loser, but even when he loses there's always some catharsis; he usually thinks about his loss or talks about it with Linus and the story ends on a note of positivity. Not so here. Peanuts fans are the only people I recommend this book for.