Can You Do This, Old Badger?

Book review by
Jennifer Gennari, Common Sense Media
Can You Do This, Old Badger? Book Poster Image
Message may bore children.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that children may be bored with the message. The art, though it adequately illustrates the story, isn't memorable.

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What's the story?

Little Badger asks Old Badger if he can jump, roll, or climb trees like he can, but Old Badger cannot. Instead, he shows Little Badger where to find earthworms and honey, and how to clean claws and catch fish.

Little Badger is impressed, and wonders how Old Badger knows so much. Old Badger tells him that someday Little Badger will teach a little badger everything he knows. The young and old badgers snuggle for a nap at the end.

Is it any good?

Little Badger is full of fun, thought parents and children will quickly realize that this book is not a story, but rather a lesson: Value your elders. Children get the message that little badgers should listen to old badgers, because they have useful information. The story is lightened by LeUyen Pham's artwork. Her badgers are sweet and cuddly, but there's something generic about them.

The dialogue between Little Badger and Old Badger is at times delightful, but at times too much what a grown-up wants a kid to say. Would any child ask, "Will that little badger love me as much as I love you?" The warm relationship between the two is attractive to kids, but the message remains the story, making it unlikely to become a bedtime favorite.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about learning from older people. Kids: What useful things have you learned from your parents, grandparents, or other adults? What do you want to teach young ones once you're a grown up? Have you ever taught adults anything already?

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