I think what Aimee means is that there is an awful lot of "junk" literature right now. We read at least 100 books a week, many form our local library system and I have a generous Amazon budget so we get to view most of the newest literature and there are some really garbage type books for kids. What is up with all the darn farting animals??? It's as if kids (boys particularly since these books are definitely geared to boys) had interest in only one end of veterinary medicine.
There are a lot of books out there depicting school as either full time recess or this horrible prison where they make you learn math which clearly no sane person could ever want to learn.
And the character stuff, OY the Spiderman books and the %$#!%$# Disney princesses.
The biggest library in our system has a 40 foot long 2 row shelving system for the $3.99 easy reader books. Many of the most recent ones are deeply copyrighted character books like Iron Man and the Frog Princess but even the ones that are not are rather vapid. They're using simpler language that Seuss ever thought of using with kids, even as a joke. A lot of new stuff is downright condescending.
We have fallen in love with William Steig, P.D. Eastman, Tomie DePaola, Cynthia Rylant, and a few others. It seems sometimes you have to go back a bit to find authors who wrote for the sheer joy of writing for kids. We like Fancy Nancy too but Fancy Nancy isn't just books. She's got dolls and dresses and a DVD or two.
There are no Mudge stuffed dogs. I think Rylant was too busy writing to worry about marketing cereal too!!!
I love children's literature like Dickens' Magic Wishbone. The language is old-fashioned but so darn good and Dickens clearly didn't believe children should be spoken down to.
Our librarians smile like crazy when we check stuff out. And we communicate like crazy about what we liked and hated and what they recommend. They too have seen a trend toward some really dumb being written and consumed and parents happy because "at least the kids are reading." The operative phrase in previous sentence is "at least" IMO.