The No David books have been some of my 3yo's favorites, probably his first favorite book ever *was* No David. We recently checked out David's Christmas and it was so sad to me! Telling him he is naughty and no christmas! All of the books seem so mean to me. Soap in the mouth was really hard to explain to my kids. When i read the books i always find myself trying to explain the adults' behavior, saying that they are nervous and david was just being silly, not naughty, etc. Anyway, I try to read the books in the gentlest way, but the funny thing is that my 3yo loves reading the books himself and chastising David loudly on each page. I guess that is the appeal. It reminds me of all my struggles through these last seven years, since the birth of my first child, to shed my aggressive impulses toward my children.
Are there books that you find offensive toward children but your children like them? I remember a discussion a while back regarding Bedtime for Francis and other spanking books. I read one recently called Only Opal, illustrated by Barbara Cooney (one of my favorite illustrators) and the orphan girl talked about being hit and smacked and I was getting so mad, but then at the end I found out that the story was based on the diary of a little girl from the 19th century, so it was a little more understandable, but still.