Children's books to AVOID - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 266 Old 08-17-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Artist Mama
Not true. We owned this one and I recently threw it away.
The other fish won't play with him because he refuses to share his beautiful rainbow scales.
He wasn't a jerk.
He just didn't want to give up his scales and they snubbed him.
He relents in the end and "shares" anyway so the other fish decide they "like him". :
Utter b.s.
OMG! Someone who feels the same way about rainbow fish as me!!!! They don't like him till he makes himself no longer the same by giving them all gifts! The pictures are pretty, but the message makes me mad!

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi
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#122 of 266 Old 08-17-2006, 01:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by appifanie
OMG! Someone who feels the same way about rainbow fish as me!!!! They don't like him till he makes himself no longer the same by giving them all gifts! The pictures are pretty, but the message makes me mad!
Hate this book but DS loves it because of the pretty pictures. I hate that the stupid Octopus tells Rainbow Fish to give his scales away because others want the scales. It's his frigin' body for cripes sake. The other fish won't talk to him because he is beautiful. Hmm. So he gives away his beauty to make friends. Great.
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#123 of 266 Old 08-17-2006, 04:25 PM
 
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Oh, I never miss an opportunity to hate on the stupid Rainbow Fish! Everyone doesn't hate him because he's beautiful, they hate him because he's a big conceited jerk. So the solution is to hack off body parts, instead of to just get over himself and stop acting like a prick?

There's also one called "No Nap" by Eve Bunting (who is usually excellent, I don't know how this one got written) where a stupid daddy is left to babysit his own child, and is totally unable to figure out how to put her down for a nap. So he jumps around and flails uselessly until he finally passes out in her bed and leaves her bouncing around the house like a pingpong ball, and then mommy comes home and roles her eyes because she married such a dork, and puts Susie to bed by herself.

I don't like anything that portrays men as morons who can't take care of their own children, basically. There's a LOVELY book called "Papa's Song" that's the perfect antidote to this one, in which no one in the bear family can sing Baby Bear to sleep, until finally Daddy takes over and take the baby on a nighttime boat ride through the bayou to listen to the night birds and the water, and brings him home asleep. Then they all kiss him and hug him and tuck him into his cozy bear bed and I start weeping because it's so sweet and gentle and loving ...
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#124 of 266 Old 08-17-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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I was listening to my sister in law read a Babar book to her son the other day. In it, Celeste (the mother) gives birth to three babies, and after awhile they aren't gaining enough weight, so the doctor tells Celeste to start supplementing them with milk from bottles. The babies love the bottles and start gaining enough weight. I was agog. :
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#125 of 266 Old 08-17-2006, 07:43 PM
 
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My grandmother got dd some Disney books. I've only read one so far and that one is long gone! OMG. It's called "Baby Daisy's Good Idea". It starts off with Baby Daisy not able to play outside because it's raining which makes her sad (my kids will be outside in the rain playing if they want to). So she decides to paint a picture which makes her happy. Till Baby Pluto knocks over her paint and makes pawprints on her paper which makes BD mad. So BD decides to make the pawprints into flowers which makes her proud.

On the back (this is what REALLY upset me and dh) is the question "What makes BD happy?" and then pictures of Baby Pluto, rain, pictures, paints, etc. Dh looked at that and said, "no, Baby Daisy makes BD happy..."

I don't want any children of mine indoctrinated with the "THINGS make me happy" idea : Training them up to be consumers

love and peace.

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#126 of 266 Old 08-17-2006, 08:18 PM
 
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I hate The Giving Tree and Fox in Socks. Not because of any particular political or moral reason, they are just not fun for me to read, and reading is almost always for pleasure in my house. So, I make my husband read those.

Honestly, we also fall into the "no censorship" category.
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#127 of 266 Old 08-17-2006, 08:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy_e
We donated a Thomas the Train one. I don't generally like them anyway, but this one was particularly bad. It had one of the trains going past a "Danger" sign and falling in the ocean. When Sir Topham Hatt comes to see him, he asks to get out as he is cold and Sir TH says "No, you have to stay there until nightfall, you were a very bad train" or something to that effect. I was just floored the first time I read it.

He had to wait for the tide, not night.

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#128 of 266 Old 08-18-2006, 01:15 AM
 
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I just wanted to stick up for 'Love you Forever'. It is a little strange, but I try to give my kids some credit! (They are a bit older though) Both of my kids have pointed out to me that it would be totally silly for a mom to go to their grown up kids house in the middle of the night etc.
But his books are silly! They love silly. They know it is silly!

'I love you forever' really comforted my ds even through its silliness. It really used to comfort him when he was younger. He still sings the little song to himself sometimes, usually when he is trying to fall asleep.

Anyway, that was my plug for Munsch! I love him and his stories! I also love Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. The kids do too!

I would say that we fall under the 'no censorship' category as well. Books are a wonderful way to talk about issues!
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#129 of 266 Old 08-18-2006, 11:20 AM
 
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I agree with the pro-votes for Love You Forever. It is a little strange, but it's supposed to be an exaggeration. I seriously doubt any child would interpret it to mean that Mom may become a stalker someday. Same with the Carl the dog books -- meant to be silly, not serious. Expecting a similar comment about The Polar Express -- children should know not to leave the house by themselves or accept gifts from strangers!!!!

Same with Guess How Much I Love You -- we've commented on how it is a little competitive sounding, but honestly, how many of us haven't had the little play arguments with our children (and other loved ones) "I love you more!" "No, I love you more!" I see it as a gentle joke between dad and son. Same for Green Eggs and Ham (love this book!) which is jokey in my opinion, like when we tease DS about having bee's knees and crawly things for breakfast "Are you absolutely sure? Bee's knees are quite crunchy!"

We are also huge fans of Charlie and Lola (one of our few commercial tie-in books that we read). Lola is supposed to be a creative, dreamy, high-needs young girl whose brother is absolutely brilliant at finding "creative discipline" techiniques to get her to do the things she needs to do. The one where he convinces her to try new foods by giving them unusual names is a huge hit in our house (and led to DS' current new favorite veggie peas or "green drops") as is the one where he answers all her objections to getting ready for bed.
I'm not fond of cartoon tie-in books, otherwise, but mostly because they are badly written. We have the original Thomas the Train books (written well before the show) and they are quite good.

I do tend to do some temporary censoring of books where they are portraying violence or mean behavior positively -- so, no Ping for now, but I would consider it later when we can talk about why it is wrong.

YMMV.

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#130 of 266 Old 08-18-2006, 11:53 AM
 
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I dug out The Rainbow Fish last night and presented it to my ds (who is 2). I didn't read it to him, was just curious on his take since reading this thread. He just kept saying the Rainbow Fish was the mommy and was looking for all her babies. On a page where he was alone, it was "Oh no! Where my babies?!" Then turn the page... "My babies! My babies!" And he thought the octopus was scary to the fish. I don't think I have ever read it to my 4 yo, I will do that and report back tomorrow LOL!!
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#131 of 266 Old 08-18-2006, 03:58 PM
 
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I saw someone mentioned Babar! That's definitely on my list of "I hope I don't ever have to read this to my child". I loved them as a kid, but reading them now I'm just horrified. They are very imperialist (is that the right word?). Babar lives in the jungle until his parents are killed, then he is taken in by the old lady and taken to the city where he learns about wearing clothes. Eventually he runs into his cousins and tells them they have to wear clothes, then he moves back into the jungle and becomes King of the elephants and shows them all the wonderful things (like clothes and cars, etc) that they have been missing out on. Yuck.

We don't really censor. Occassionally I have told my DD I'm not willing to read a particular book. We usually read whatever she wants, though, and just try to discuss whatever we find upsetting.
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#132 of 266 Old 08-18-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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Totally agree on the Babar books! I also have mixed feelings about curious George - it seems like the plot of most of them is "George does something bad, but because he made someone laugh it's ok".

One thing I censor that probably no one ele does is one of our poky little puppy books - at the end the mother feeds the puppies chocolate cake. You should never give a dog chocolate!

There are also plenty of nursery rhymes I skip over.
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#133 of 266 Old 08-19-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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Sinnce this thread had arisen, Phoenix-like, from the ashes, I'll add my agreement on Bearenstains Bears. I got turned off of those in my childhood by the idiot incompetent father. Not my cup of tea.
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#134 of 266 Old 08-19-2006, 12:51 AM
 
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You know what else? The Little Engine That Could and those "good little children" over the mountain. In my paradigm, all children get toys and milk. Even the not-so-good ones.

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
Check out the blog for family fun, homeschooling, books, simple living, and 6 fabulous children, including twin toddlers

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#135 of 266 Old 08-19-2006, 01:19 AM
 
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I agree that Love you Forever and The giving Tree are just too creepy. I just absolutely cannot stand the giving tree!

Another thing about some books that bother me is the disney fairy tails often use the "evil step family theme" We are not a step family, but I really don't want my children to grow up with the idea that step families are evil. That always bugged me.

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#136 of 266 Old 08-19-2006, 01:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Yeah. You just know that in Love You Forever: The Sequel that she ends up desiccated in the guy's basement as part of his taxidermy "hobby."
OMG - ROFLMAO!!!

Well, I haven't read through this entire thread yet, and y'all are trashing some of my favorite books! , but I love the difference of opinions. OK, talk to me about the Franklin series. My two boys are addicted to these books, which are only in our house because we inherited them from my SIL. There's nothing to hate about them really, and that's probably why I just can't stand them! They've been designed to be offensive to NO ONE, and so their content is just pablum. Every so often I just have to stash them in the closet for a while. . .
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#137 of 266 Old 08-19-2006, 02:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PikkuMyy
I do have to say that there's a difference between "censoring" books and simply choosing not to read or buy or borrow books that are just plain bad.
I agree with this. I'm very much against government censorship of artwork, but I will never hang art on my walls that depicts hitting children or animals or that proclaims religious beliefs I don't hold. My DD is 2 and is a total sponge, and there are just some messages I don't want her receiving at this age. When she's older, sure. I agree with everyone who said that they will make great teaching experiences. But for now, she doesn't understand the difference between what is in a book and "our morals." Unfortunately, 90% of her books are hand-me-downs from when my 14 year old brother was little, so I have a lot of purging to do.
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#138 of 266 Old 08-19-2006, 09:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sntm
I agree with the pro-votes for Love You Forever. It is a little strange, but it's supposed to be an exaggeration. I seriously doubt any child would interpret it to mean that Mom may become a stalker someday.

YMMV.
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#139 of 266 Old 08-19-2006, 08:42 PM
 
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regarding the Heckety Peg story: does anyone else remember the Andrew Lang fairytale books ("The Blue Fairytale Book," all the different colors...)... they were retellings of original traditional stories from many cultures, and LOTs of those were gruesome! princesses that had to pay for misdeeds with strips of skin from their jaw to their little finger, stuff like that... brrr! but i LOVED these as a kid, and have read that we do our kids no favors when we give them the watered-down (ie, "disneyfied") versions of these classic tales. well, not for little ones, but my older kids love these now...

what drives me nuts is when disney gets hold of beautiful stories like Winnie-the-Pooh. i will NEVER own ANY disney pooh stories, videos, or paraphernelia. bleagh!

i also set aside The Giving Tree, and never had a copy of the Rainbow Fish. one of my jobs is braiding hair, and the idea of stripping off scales sort of feels like making one of my clients cut her gorgeous long hair to be accepted by her peers... it just creeped me out right at the start, and i specifically asked the grandparents and aunties not to ever get it for us.

Love You Forever and Runaway Bunny are on our bookshelves, but i don't like to read them. i don't censor what we have, but i am pretty selective about what finds a permanent place on our shelves.

once i managed to win an ebay auction with two really rare Tintin books, "Tintin in the Congo," and "Tintin in the Soviet Union." they were only black and white, and as far as i know, never were colored or reprinted... because they were horribly racist and politically incorrect! here i thought i'd scored a special treat for my Tintin fan ds... well, it was certainly a homeschooling lesson in tolerance, diversity, and how things change over the decades. that congo book was awful... every white man had a gun and shot every animal he saw. yeek!

great thread!
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#140 of 266 Old 08-19-2006, 11:34 PM
 
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Isn't that the one where the mom breaks into the adult son's house in the middle of the night and rocks him?

Reminds me of how if I don't answer the phone my mom drives over, because her right to hear from me right away trumps my right to set boundaries. (I don't believe that I have to answer the phone just because it rings.)
sounds like my mom, just she lives too far away to drive over...
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#141 of 266 Old 08-20-2006, 12:13 AM
 
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Junie B. Jones. Am I the only mom who can't stand them? She drives me nuts!
I'm with you! We got one out from the library and that was the first and last time that I read it. It's just junk. The writing is horrible.

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#142 of 266 Old 08-20-2006, 12:40 AM
 
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Ugh! That horrid "ping" book where the duck gets whacked on the back.
I used to collect the old "Little Golden Books". I have one that my mil got at a garage sale that I had never read before...about a little boy who gets a new puppy. I'm reading along to ds and then I get to a part that said, "tommy rolls up a newspaper and hits the puppy, he never uses his hand" OMG! yeah...we didn't finish that book. :
If I were to encounter that while reading along to a child I wouldn't be at all surprised if I ended up ripping the book in two just from shock.
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#143 of 266 Old 08-20-2006, 03:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SamuraiEarthMama
regarding the Heckety Peg story: does anyone else remember the Andrew Lang fairytale books ("The Blue Fairytale Book," all the different colors...)... they were retellings of original traditional stories from many cultures, and LOTs of those were gruesome! princesses that had to pay for misdeeds with strips of skin from their jaw to their little finger, stuff like that... brrr! but i LOVED these as a kid, and have read that we do our kids no favors when we give them the watered-down (ie, "disneyfied") versions of these classic tales. well, not for little ones, but my older kids love these now...
DD1 reads the Lang books and we're also working through them as read-alouds. We don't omit stories or censor, but I will ask if she wants me to skip something particularly gruesome even though she's probably already read it. She never does. A good friend of mine learned to read with these; they were the only books in her house apart from the Bible. Thirty plus years later, she still talks about how much she loves them.
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#144 of 266 Old 08-20-2006, 09:43 AM
 
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Click, Clack, Moo This book is total propaganda for unionism. Why do toddlers and preschoolers need this type of persuasion?
Actually, this book is completely anti-union, which is why I won't read it to ds anymore. In it, the cows give up their collective power,their right to improve their lives, their right to communicate, in exchange for a one-time deal from the farmer, who holds all the power in the relationship. the book depresses me no end ... especially as it has won awards for being a model of nonviolent, cooperative communication - and it isn't. it just reinforces that laborers are at the will of the employer, and that we should all just give in and make nice even if we're tired, hungry, sick, or bored.
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#145 of 266 Old 08-20-2006, 10:09 AM
 
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Actually, this book is completely anti-union, which is why I won't read it to ds anymore. In it, the cows give up their collective power,their right to improve their lives, their right to communicate, in exchange for a one-time deal from the farmer, who holds all the power in the relationship. the book depresses me no end ... especially as it has won awards for being a model of nonviolent, cooperative communication - and it isn't. it just reinforces that laborers are at the will of the employer, and that we should all just give in and make nice even if we're tired, hungry, sick, or bored.
That's okay. There's always Animal Farm.
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#146 of 266 Old 08-20-2006, 12:32 PM
 
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That's okay. There's always Animal Farm.
And Farmer Duck.
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#147 of 266 Old 08-20-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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My mom bought DS a book about Louis Pasteur. DH read it to DS once and told me about it. I threw it out. It's all about a boy who got bit by a rabid dog and how Pasteur created "magic soldiers" to march into the boy's body and take away the rabies (i.e. the vaccine). Even if we DID vax, I wouldn't like this book!

I tend to avoid the older fairy tales because a lot of them deal with evil witches. We're Pagan and I identify as a witch, so I don't want DS thinking witches are bad in any way. I also refuse to read him The Ugly Duckling because I want him to know that ALL creatures, even grey fuzzy ones, are beautiful and perfect just the way they are.

I don't think DH does this, but I change certain words when I'm reading. I change naughty to silly, fat to big, stuff like that.

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#148 of 266 Old 08-20-2006, 06:25 PM
 
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I remember being at the library with my then-four-year-old. I let her pick out several books from the picture book section and then I went over them to make sure they were okay. There was one that makes me sick to my stomach. A true story about a Japanese zoo right before the bomb was dropped. The zookeepers decided to have mercy on the animals, who were so affected by the war, and they killed them. They went through the whole zoo, how they shot the tigers and deer and such. And then they poisoned the elephants. One by one they dropped but there was one who didn't die from the poison. They finally shot her in the head. That was the end of the story. It was all illustrated.

I am sure that stories such as these should be part of our history but the target age of the book was really, really wrong for the subject matter it contained. It was a picture book for goodness' sake! I regret not saying something to the librarian about it.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#149 of 266 Old 08-20-2006, 08:22 PM
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Good grief, that's horrific. I'm a huge animal lover, and remember being profoundly disturbed when Bambi's mother died.

If I had stumbled upon that book at a tender age, I really would have been scarred for life.
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#150 of 266 Old 08-20-2006, 08:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by frontierpsych
.... beautiful artwork though! Just a creepy book. it was my sister's favorite growing up.
Very high on the creepy scale. Don Wood is the illustrator and his wife, Audrey, is the author. They are an outstanding team. I have loved them for years. King Bidgood and Piggies are much better Wood books for little kiddos. My kids love Heckedy Peg It took me some time to get used to the ideas in it (I had only known them from King Bidgood before I had kids and began spending days at the library) but it is a fav now, along with all of the Wood duo's books. We collect them.
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