I think it is important to remember that children do not glean from a book what an adult would. A lot of you even said you loved such and such book as a child but found it repellent as an adult. Did you get the lesson as a child that you perceive as an adult? That said, we love The Giving Tree and Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb at our house.
I did purchase I Love You Forever way before I had kids and agree that when I read it to ds the first time I was very creeped out. It seems so disrespectful to the child, you know? But I am skeeved out by people touching people when they are asleep. I also don't like the stalker aspect of Runaway Bunny-MIL gave it to us. Really I am just tired of the played out "Your parent REALLY loves you" premise of children's books. We get it, they get it, let's read something interesting.
I bought a slew of Curious George books when pg with ds1. Man, I hate them. Plus they are ghost written, not original Curious George stories. Sometimes they are really preachy but mostly they are just long and poorly written.
I HATE Alexander and the No Good Very Bad Day. Seriously, why would I want to read a book to ds describing how to be petulant and irritable without ever turning his attitude around? I really don't like books that have yelling or bad moods in them, they tend to make me feel yucky.
I agree that the bedtime book It's Time To Sleep borders on the ridiculous with the mama fish and also some of the baby animals are called by their baby animal name (like foal) and some are called by the adult name with little or baby in front of it (little goose). THAT annoys me.
We don't have movie or TV character books and no one buys them for us so I can't attest to the poor quality.
I agree that the Eric Carle books are BORING!
And the Jamie Lee Curtis ones are TERRIBLE (plus the illustrations are ugly). We got them out of the Scholastic catalog and they suck.
There is a bedtime book that could conceivably be good (can't remember the name) but each quotation ends in said Willa or said Willoughby. So imagine a dialog like this:
""what's that?" asked Willoughby
"It's my jumper" said Willa
"What do you think it is doing?" said Willoughby
"I don't know" said Willa
"It's waiting" said Willoughby
etc. It gets very tiresome. I just take out most of them when I read it but seeing them gets on my nerves!