Pomo Picks

Pop Culture Worth Your Time: PoMo Kids’ Picks

The content in our children’s queues, including YA lit, lemurs, hilarious memes, all-caps WEIRD anime, and this obscure show called The Simpsons

By William Berrier, Gustav Engler, Jane Engler, Cormac McCann Shafer, Finn McCann Shafer, Max Novak, and Moira Novak April 22, 2021

To our young critic, Giorno’s hair on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has a real onion ring quality.

For Take Your Child to Work Day, we asked our own children (and one niece) to share what they've been reading and watching lately. (Or maybe the grown-ups just needed to take a week off.)

Agents of SHIELD

Agents of SHIELD is a TV show that I just finished watching. It has seven seasons and I would say it is a very good TV show. I really liked it.

The cast for the show is Philip Coulson (Clark Gregg), Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), and Grant Ward (Brett Dalton). I really like this show because it has a lot of story put into it and there are a lot of cliffhangers which can make any show more interesting. Some of the fun things that they have to fight are Inhumans, people that have random superpowers, and monoliths, which are three stones that can send you to a different planet, one that teleports you to a different time, and one that creates stuff. There was also Hive, an alien that uses micro bugs to get rid of people's flesh and skin, and the Chronicoms, which are robots that have cool ships and are trying to make Earth their home planet, and a few more bad guys which I won't get into detail about.

I really liked the character Coulson because he is a very good leader and dies three times, gets revived twice, and turned into robot. One thing I don't really like about Agents of SHIELD is that they always get the bad guy and then they just keep talking and the bad guy escapes. I would really recommend watching it, and it is a very good TV show. Max Novak, age 10

All Hail King Julien

I would recommend the show All Hail King Julien. It is on Netflix. It is about lemurs on Madagascar. It’s very funny! King Julien is the king of the lemurs. There is five seasons. There is also a sequel. The sequel is All Hail King Julien: Exiled. I have not seen that one yet. Mort is my favorite character. He is devoted to King Julien! Especially King Julien’s feet! —Cormac McCann Shafer, age 7


This book is about teenagers in high school. Some of them are witches. There are two covens at their school, and one of them is sort of mean but not evil. Binx, Greta, and Ridley are the nicer coven, and then a new girl, Iris, who’s also a witch, joins their coven. Ridley has a crush on another new student at the school, Penelope, who she meets in one of her classes. Then she finds out Penelope has a boyfriend, but Ridley still wants to hang out with her as friends.

Each chapter, it switches to a different character’s perspective. There’s this group called Antima, for Anti-Magic, and a couple of people at the school have an Antima patch on their jackets. There’s also a witch hunter guy from hundreds of years ago, and he and another witch who’s evil have been killing descendants of this famous witch who wrote a sort of witch’s handbook. They’re killing and taking the hearts out of her descendants. 

Greta’s familiar goes missing—a familiar is a witch’s pet, basically, and hers is a cat—and they finally find him. They get led to this empty house, still in construction, and they hear some lady singing in German or something and playing piano. Then they discover there’s been a murder, and later there’s a kidnapping. Sometimes when Iris touches things she can get visions, and one time she touched Greta in the beginning of the book and got a vision of Greta tied up in a chair, and later on Greta has a dream of being tied up in a chair in a room of flames with the witch hunter and her familiar and this person who works at the school who I am positive is evil.

That all sounds scary, but it’s not scary. It’s a good book. I recommend it. It has two authors, and one of them lives in Portland. There should be a second book* because there’s so many problems that were not solved. —Jane Engler, age 12
Editor's note: Good news, Jane! There's a sequel due out in September.

Gregor the Overlander

Gregor the Overlander is a fantastical series by Suzanne Collins. The story starts with Gregor, an 11-year-old boy with a missing dad. One summer day, he falls down a heating vent and finds himself in an underground world. Follow Gregor along his journey where he encounters many odd creatures including giant bats, reticent roaches, cunning rats, and strange spiders. There are five books in the Underland series, none of which you will be able to put down. I love this series and I hope you do, too! —Finn McCann Shafer, age 10


One thing that has gotten me through the pandemic are memes. In case you don’t know, a meme is a funny video, photo, GIF, or piece of media, usually shorter than 30 seconds because most of us people who watch memes don’t have a very long attention span. If you want to find memes, some YouTube channels I recommend are Grandayy and Dolan Dark. I particularly like political memes, especially ones that are clowning on Donald Trump. Also, memes about quarantine are funny and so are music memes, such as Flying Kitty’s parodies. —Ben Azerrad, age 12

A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying

A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying is a book that is an entertaining take on monster and royal positions. In it, you learn that the role you're in isn't always the role you want you follow. A character named Rowan was born into the role of queen, though her true calling is being the royal monster hunter. She has a brother named Rhydd who is good at politics, though as the royal monster hunter he gets hurt, and the council decides that since for the rest of his life he will have a limp, Rowan becomes the royal monster hunter and her brother becomes the king instead.
A thing I liked about this book is how you can’t put the book down. Your eyes are glued to the pages. It’s fun and a good read. It has three books in the series and won't let you down. —Moira Novak, age 10

The Simpsons

The Simpsons is a show. Sometimes it’s on TV, and it can be on Hulu, which is where Season 32 is, and on Disney+ you can find every season from 1 to 31. The Simpsons is a family of five: Marge, Homer, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie. Maggie is the youngest, who’s a baby. She’s actually very talented. And then Lisa, the second youngest in the family, is very smart and is obsessed with jazz, and she has a hard time making friends. Also, she gets student of the month or year a lot. Bart: the most annoying person in the family. He’s gross, he gets detention a lot, he pulls a lot of pranks on Lisa, and he’s just really annoying. One other thing: Bart always says, “Ay caramba.” I have no clue what that means. And then Homer, Marge’s husband. Homer is the one who works at the nuclear plant in Springfield. Obsessed with doughnuts, he loves food, especially Duff beer. He goes to Moe’s, which is a bar, a lot. He has friends Lenny, Carl, and someone one else—I forget his name. And Marge, the person who works all day at the house. I don’t think she has a job. She is a cook. She does get mad at Homer a lot. Stupid sexy Flanders is a neighbor who’s stupid but sexy. Homer hates him. Marge is fine with him. 

“Treehouse of Horror” is a Halloween episode. There’s three skits, and each one of them would be like horror but not really horror, and they’re way different from other episodes. The older episodes have lower quality. There’s like over 700 episodes. I get annoyed that my parents like the older seasons from the 19s and early 2000s. No one likes the 19s! —Gustav Engler, age 8

The Sims 4

I first heard about The Sims 4 during a remarkably long car ride from one of my friends. I was only 9 years old. I begged my mom to let me have it, and when we went on a camping trip and I didn’t complain for the whole hike, she said I could have it as a reward.

The Sims 4 is a simulation game where you can basically do anything—live in your dream house, in the middle of a giant, tropical beach, with 16 children, if you feel like it. This has been great during the pandemic because it lets me create a world where there is no pandemic and is a distraction from the real world (while still being creative). In the past few months, I have built a giant yacht covered in flowers in the middle of the Sims’ version of Hawaii, and I have lived out 10 generations in the "Not So Berry” challenge in which each Sim in every generation is a different color and has a different set of tasks to complete for their lifetime. Probably my favorite of all, I built a house shaped like a cat and had a crazy cat lady live in it. So if you feel like doing any of those things, I recommend this game. —Elly Azerrad, age 12

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

I have watched many a show this pandemic. Some good, some bad, but one stood out, and that is JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. If you took a Dragon Ball Z episode, and mixed it with a semi-medieval Tom Clancy book, and tossed them both into a melting pot and let mix for 2 seconds, you’d get JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Originally a manga by Hirohiko Araki with a full eight seasons, the show is marvelous, but like crazy freaking WEIRD. Yes, WEIRD, in all caps. An example is that this guy Giorno (also has the best theme song ever), his hair is like three onion rings made of hair, and this other guy, Bruno Bucciarati, has hair that’s a normal bowl cut but with miniature stepping plates on the top. Like, What the Heck?! How boring was Hirohiko Araki’s work space to dream this all up? And that’s just the tip, THE TIP OF HOW WEIRD IT IS.


All right, to the review. The first season is bad. It sets a bad precedent for it, but the second season is a freaking life saver—the characters are funnier, the dialogue is wittier, the sequences are more bizarre than ever, and there’s a cooler sidekick with a sexy Italian accent. Then there are the Stardust Crusaders. Holy mother of Dio Brando this is the holy grail of bizarre! Like, there are a bunch of powers they only use once. That Bruno Bucciarati guy can lick people to see if they are lying, he can also unzip people and just hijack them. What?? This other guy gets shot in the head 3 times. 3 TIMES and doesn’t die! Like, what? Apparently 4’s his unlucky number, so THEN he gets shot like 20 times and lives. ’Cause you have to shoot him 4 times. Only 4. Honestly, the list of WEIRD goes on and on.

So, in conclusion, it’s a weird show—kinda bloody, kinda stupid, kinda really awesome. Go watch it.... The whole shebang is on HULU. —William Berrier, age 11