Book Review

Mini(bot) Reviews: Good Night, Baboon!, ABC Dance!, and Keep What You Love

While two board books and a decluttering guide might not seem like they have anything in common, they happen to all have really cute artwork!

I received these three books for free from Workman Publishing in exchange for my free and unbiased reviews.

Good Night, Baboon! by Sabrina Moyle and illustrated by Eunice Moyle
My Edition: Board book – 2020 – Workman Publishing – ISBN: 9781523507474

This is an adorable, rhyming bedtime book that I read to myself to the tune of ‘No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.’ But the title is a callback to Goodnight, Moon, which is one of my all-time fave kid books and one I love to buy for friends when they become parents. I’m honestly not a fan of monkeys, but I have to say, the baboons (and all the other animals) in this book are too stinkin’ cute!

There’s not much to say about a board book, but I loved the art and I’m willing to bet little listeners and readers will enjoy the rhyme scheme. I passed this on to a friend and her 1-year-old son and heard that he very much enjoyed it, so there’s your recommendation from the intended audience!

This is an excellent tip and one I still follow as an adult! xD

Fun fact – these are the ladies behind Hello!Lucky and I just learned this. They have several other super cute books!

Sabrina Moyle: WebsiteTwitter
Eunice Moyle: Website 
Workman Publishing: WebsiteInstagramTwitter


ABC Dance! by Sabrina Moyle and illustrated by Eunice Moyle
My Edition: Board book – 2020 – Workman Publishing – ISBN: 9781523507467

Much like Goodnight, Baboon, this is another super cute, rhyming board book, which makes sense because it’s written and illustrated by the same duo. The more fun someone can make the alphabet, the better! Not only does this book help with ABCs, it also features animals, and dances. Who doesn’t love animals and dances?

I also passed this book on to a different friend and her son, and as you can see from the pics below, he had a grand old time reading this one!

JUST LOOK AT THOSE CUTE NEWTS!


Keep What You Love by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst and illustrated by Lotte Dirks
My Edition: Paperback – 235 pages – 2020 – Workman Publishing – ISBN: 9781523509430

I tried reading the manga edition of the Maria Kondo book about keeping what sparks joy and learned that’s not the best approach for me because I’ll sit here and tell you that almost everything in my apartment sparks joy and the shit that doesn’t is probably a necessity. I’ve already confessed, many times, in the past to being a book hoarder. And if my aesthetic could be described in one word, it would be cluttered eclectic. I like stuff and things, I come from a line of people who enjoy stuff and things, and I will likely forever enjoy stuff and things.

But every now and then I like to imagine that I could maybe own less stuff and things, so I figured I’d check out this book! I immediately tabbed this quote from the intro:

“Decluttering is not a rigid command to become a minimalist; rather, it is a soft and slow way to reset and make choices about your life.”

This really spoke to me, as my goal is not to become a minimalist. I like artwork, decorations, and books and I like to support the creators who make them! I also appreciated that at the end of the intro, Irene and Astrid encourage the reader to pass on the book to another when the decluttering is complete.

The book is formatted as a list, with a picture of an item on a page, the name of the item, and checkboxes for yes or no (which I mentally started to check in case I do pass this book on). Then there are little interludes with quotes and other advice to help with decluttering. I enjoy this casual format and I especially enjoyed the illustrations by Dirks.

I felt immediately called out by the first item on the list though: all that stuff still sitting in boxes after your last move. I moved in October and there are stacks of boxes throughout my little apartment. But it’s all stuff I want to keep! At least for now. Haha. Decluttering is hard.

But I easily moved on to “Those ‘what’s this for?’ chargers”, “lots of pens”, and had tackled “dressy clothes” before I owned the book. Obviously, there are going to be things on this list I don’t own, like “novelty ice cube tray” and “manual typewriter” – except that I totally own a manual typewriter.

I wanted to share some of the tips from the book:

“Make it a habit to take ten minutes to tidy up before you go to bed in the evening…your morning will go smoother and you will leave the house with clear head.”

This is something that’s been part of my daily routine for years. I don’t necessarily do it right before bed, but I basically tidy up throughout the day. A place for everything and everything in it’s place! I find that, in general, feeling like my home is tidy keeps me in a better mood.

From ‘How To Buy Less’: “Before making a purchase, ask yourself: Was it ethically made? How many of this item do I already own? Is this durable and well made? Will this item make a lasting difference for me/my wardrobe/my life? What can I get rid of to make room for this item (something new in = something old out)?”

This is excellent advice and something I need to get in the habit of asking myself. I really should add it as a note on my phone and paste it next to my computer. As I said earlier, I’m always going to be a book hoarder and I really love supporting artists (my dream is to just have walls absolutely covered in different artwork – screw any sense of rhyme or reason), but that doesn’t mean there’s no room to analyze some of my purchases beyond the thought of “I want this thing.”

“Discard or recycle as much packing as possible. If you can’t put a discarded carton, bottle, box, or other materials to immediate reuse…move it to its next viable resting place: the recycling bin. Don’t keep it around just because you might have a use for it sometime in the abstract future.”

GUILTY AS CHARGED. Hoo boy, since becoming “an adult” I’ve come to appreciate a “good box” just like the memes say. You never know what you might need it for! I do occasionally mail gifts to friends so I find myself keeping certain boxes for future use. Or keeping boxes that things came in (like my keyboard and galaxy light) in case I have to repack them in the future. I did actually repack my keyboard for now. However, when I moved in October, every box that was left in the basement from every purchase where I thought “what if I need the box for this item again” was thrown out in the move. This is something I really need to work on, as good as I am about recycling, I don’t have the space to hoard good boxes.

So, if you couldn’t tell, I enjoy this book. It’s hard, feeling called out on my habits, but I realize that while I am a stuff and things person, I can allow myself to buy less stuff and things and save that money for other experiences, like tattoos, travel, and delicious foods. I plan to work my way through this book, but without putting too much pressure on myself to just GET RID OF EVERYTHING, because I know that’s not a strategy that works for me. If you feel similar, this might be a book worth checking out!

I was, and maybe still am, guilty of having lots of pens – but I did recently get rid of many, so now I have less.

I’m pretty sure I know someone who has one of these – let’s see if she reads this post.

This actually reminded me that I’ve wanted a letterpress tray for a long time.

Guilty.

Irene Smit: Workman Page
Astrid van der Hulst: Workman Page

Lotte Dirks: WebsiteInstagram

11 thoughts on “Mini(bot) Reviews: Good Night, Baboon!, ABC Dance!, and Keep What You Love”

  1. Keep What You Love sounds so cute. I have become a minimalist in the sense of making sure every new purchase fits into the lifestyle since 2017. Though the First Mate and I have been discussing it for even longer. I now try to have digital memories and buy only necessary things etc. BUT I have boxes of books and paper and such from when I was little through college before there was digital media. I just found one such box and had such a delightful time revisiting the past. My memory is crap so it was weird and lovely how much flowed back by picking up a physical object. I loved hearing yer foray into each page of the book that ye shared. I can sympathize. And of course art always has a place in me cabin.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really need to go through things like art supplies and old cards. I have all my letters from penpals, but I don’t need every bday card, etc. I also need to find a better way to organize my printed photos and make up some albums of the best ones so I can actually take them out and look at them.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah my dad has a bunch of great albums that he loves to pull out when people come over. I want to be able to do the same! I do make photobooks with my digital pics if I go on a vacation or something. But that’s kinda rare.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think I can do the minimalist thing.
    The advice from the decluttering book on buying things is really good. I’ve gotten into the habit of asking myself “do I need it” or “do I have space for it” or “how will this affect my budget.” They’ve helped me cut down some on my book purchases, which I love/hate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I ~need~ to force myself to understand the word need lmao. Cuz I buy dumbass shit and tell myself I need it, cuz just looking at a thing will make me happy. Which it does to an extent but…Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

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