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Awful, awful children's books - Page 2

post #21 of 333
Enid Blyton books, of which I had many when I was a kid. Guess my parents didn't realize how many "gollywogs" there were in the books.

And so all those Noddy books are out. I don't care if they've updated them to be less racist, the history alone makes me shiver.

As a queer, interracial family with a mixed raced son and heavy duty feminist politics, I find many books offensive. We spend a lot of time picking out our books, and it saddens to me to see what kinds of messages are being sent to little ones.

For that reason, we often get my partner's mother to write our books. She is an artist and does a great job!
post #22 of 333
What's that Llama one where the kid is in bed screaming for his mother and she won't come because she's on the phone or doing laundry or something? I hate that book!

I read some Curious George books to my 3rd grade students a few years ago (at their request) and couldn't get through them with interjecting little comments about how wrong it is to kidnap an animal and all that. My kids just rolled their eyes at me!

Some of the Peter Rabbit books bother me, but dd loves them. We do some revising as we read them.
post #23 of 333
the "I'll love you forever" book. I know a lot of people adore it, but the love the mother displays seems... I don't know, needy and stalkerish and downright weird to me. I can't even read it.

My ds LOVES "When Sophie gets angry," in part because I think it deals with big emotions. Sometimes when we're out at the park, he'll say "The wide world comforts her."
post #24 of 333
My DD loves the Spot books. I agree with you, though, that I don't like that reference to Spot being naughty. I think that's one of the earliest books of the series and the others aren't like that. The video of the same story does NOT say that Spot is naughty.

The book I hate is Going on a Bear Hunt. Why???are they going on a bear hunt? And look what happens when they actually find a bear? Sheesh.
post #25 of 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
My DD loves the Spot books. I agree with you, though, that I don't like that reference to Spot being naughty. I think that's one of the earliest books of the series and the others aren't like that. The video of the same story does NOT say that Spot is naughty.

The book I hate is Going on a Bear Hunt. Why???are they going on a bear hunt? And look what happens when they actually find a bear? Sheesh.
Aww but they all get in bed together at the end! - Do you think they co sleep? lol
post #26 of 333
LOve you forever....my daughter has issues with the mom using a ladder to visit her son. She told me if she were to visit...wouldn't she use a key and the stairs???

I don't like Snow White, 101 Dalmations...to much evil....
post #27 of 333
One book I don't exactly like is The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.

Synopsis: this kid is all excited because it's snowing and he goes out and builds a snowman. That night he can't sleep because he's thinking about his great snowman and he goes out into the yard to see it. The snowman winks at him and then starts walking, and they play and the snowman comes into the house with him and plays with all the amazing stuff in the house and tries on the parents' clothes and then takes the kids hand and they fly all over the world and then they land back in the garden and the kid goes back inside and back to bed. In the morning he wakes up, runs immediately out into the garden to see his snowman, and the snowman is a melted pile with a hat sitting there on top of it!

I mean, what exactly is this about??! Death? The afterlife? Dreaming? Letting secret friends into your house in the middle of the night while your parents are sleeping?! Was the stuff in the middle where the snowman comes alive a dream? It's just kind of weird, and oddly sad and unsettling.
post #28 of 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by nabigus View Post
the "I'll love you forever" book. I know a lot of people adore it, but the love the mother displays seems... I don't know, needy and stalkerish and downright weird to me. I can't even read it.
Oh, I forgot about that book! It's so creepy!
post #29 of 333
I agree about the OG Curious George--it's a really bad book. But we enjoy the Curious George anthology with stories like Curious George goes to the library or Curious George goes camping, they are pretty boring but innocuous enough--and dd loves them.

The worst book I've gotten recently is "I'm a Big Sister." I don't remember the author. My mom just got it for DD because, well, she's going to be a big sister.

In the book, the new big sister sees her parents taking care of the new baby and asks "Did I drink out of a bottle when I was a baby?" or "Did I sleep in a crib when I was a baby?"

The AP mom in me cringed when I read it. I had to explain to DD that, no, she never drank out of a bottle when she was a baby and she never slept in a crib either, and for that matter, she doesn't sleep in a "big girl bed" now because she sleeps in the big bed with everyone else. I had to put the book away
post #30 of 333
I just notice how many books have the character give up/cry and then suddenly the problem is solves. Nothing wrong with releasing an emotion like crying but it hardly ever solves a problem...and giving up doesn't fix much either. However, I see it all the time in books for kids.
post #31 of 333
Thread Starter 
Has anyone read the old folk tale Anansi and the Pig? We have several versions (one by Judy Sierra and one by Jim Aylesworth, both GREAT authors) but this story makes me cringe. Basically, to get a pig to go forward (through a gate or through a river, or whatever) the main character asks the dog to bite the pig, dog says no, so they ask the stick to hit the dog, stick says no, so they ask fire to burn stick, fire says no, so they ask water to douse fire, water says no, so they ask cow to drink water, cow says no, so they ask butcher to scare cow, etc., etc. In the end they get the pig to move by settin off the chain.

My dd loves Curious George. Now that she's a little older we talk a lot about how the man should not have taken George from the jungle. She also thinks the man needs to tell George the city rules because he keeps getting into trouble (he only knows the jungle rules).

We also love Bedtime for Frances. I omit the entire page about spanking and my dd scolds the daddy at every reading for smoking.
post #32 of 333
We've had to hide several books that DD loves and we hate. It's funny that they've already been mentioned, for the most part!
-I hate the "pissing contest" aspect of Guess how much I love you
-Curious George is just not right when we're trying to teach E about animals and respect! But I loved them as a kid.
-Love you forever is okay until she climbs a ladder and sneaks into her grown son's room-creeepy.
-the Spot books drive me nuts. Someone gave dd 4-and they are so boring and inane, I swear we're all a little dumber each time we look at them. In one, Spot goes to school, he says "I can't sing", and I hate the sentiment of "can't". So defeatist.
And I can't stand the TV tie ins, they are far too transparent.

Kwynne-I totally hear you on the Noddy and Enid Blyton books. We found a stack of these in the basement from DH's childhood-and man, are they bad!!! I remember finding some old Tintins too, soooo racist. How odd that they're only 25 years old.
post #33 of 333
Oh my gosh, nothing could be worse than the Beatrix Potter collection my mom just brought to me. It was mine as a child. I was letting DD play with the books until I took a good look at them again. There is some form of violence in every one of them - particularly the ones with farmers and animals.
post #34 of 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdie22 View Post
How about Bedtime for Frances? She can't sleep, and they keep sending her back to bed. Finally her dad says he's going to give her a spanking if she gets up one more time, so she falls asleep. First of all, a spanking?! and second, since when is that going to magically make a child go to sleep?!
Wow, I haven't read that one but we love Bread and Jam for Frances. I'm glad to have read about the spanking here as I had this book on my list for my daughter's birthday.

Lots of people have mentioned not liking Beatrix Potter and while they aren't my favorite, I don't find them objectionable. My daughter loves them and finds them really very funny. I try to bear in mind the time period they were written and I will skip some bits like where Tom kitten's mother smacks the kittens.
I also think that things like that in books make really good talking points and help issues arise in a safe way.

The books for kids that really get my back up are those that are based on TV characters or just generally churned out and badly written. It's not even relevant listing them as there are so many that don't seem to have had any love or even thought put into them at all.
post #35 of 333
I found I Love You Forever just creepy. I don't like The Giving Tree because the kid is just selfish.

I don't mind Guess How Much I Love You, but neither of my kids liked it.

L
post #36 of 333
The one I dislike most is Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree.

As a kid, I hated Are You My Mother? I cried every time I read it. Still do.
post #37 of 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtoS View Post
I don't like Snow White, 101 Dalmations...to much evil....
I still have 101 Dalmations from when I was a little girl. In the book Cruella stole the puppies to sell them to the circus. When I watched the movie a few years back I was shocked that she stole them to make a coat out of them!!

I hate the Cat in the Hat. What a jerky Cat!
post #38 of 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by balancedmama View Post
Oh my gosh, nothing could be worse than the Beatrix Potter collection my mom just brought to me. It was mine as a child. I was letting DD play with the books until I took a good look at them again. There is some form of violence in every one of them - particularly the ones with farmers and animals.
dude, seriously! my mom brought over a bunch of my old books and i was all "awww, peter rabbit" and then i read them!!!! holy cow!!!! they went straight into the pile of books to get rid of, along with Babar and a few others.
post #39 of 333
Those kids were way too young to be left alone, for one! And then they just...OPEN THE DOOR to a bow-tied anthropomorphic cat??? Who taught them safety?
post #40 of 333
The Story About Ping

Quote:
SUMMARY
A little duck named Ping lives on a boat on the river with his many family members including parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and forty-two cousins. Every morning, Ping and his family leave the boat to hunt for food, and every evening they return. The last duck onto the boat gets a spanking, so Ping always tries not to be last.

One day, Ping realizes that he will be the last one on the boat, and so, rather than getting spanked, he hides in the tall grasses by the river all night. When he tries to return to the boat in the morning, the boat is nowhere in sight. Eventually, Ping notices that a small boy has fallen off a houseboat. The boy holds onto Ping when his family pulls him back onto the boat. The boy’s father traps Ping in a basket so that they can cook him for dinner later. However, before this can happen, the boy frees Ping from the basket and helps him back into the river. The end of the story finds Ping returning to his family –even though he is the last one on the boat that day and must suffer the "last one on board" spanking.
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