Children's books to AVOID - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 266 Old 09-24-2006, 03:18 PM
 
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I guess I shouldn't mention my sons other favorite: Captain Underpants : Like Walter the farting dog my son just can not get enough of that type of humour. We own the whole series and my son love to have a few chapter read to him before bed, and then he "reads" the rest. He basically has the cartoon memorized so to him it is reading.
: Absolutely!

I guess I really don't believe in censoring anything but just using it to discuss. But, yes, Junie B Jones is truly a BRAT.
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#242 of 266 Old 09-24-2006, 03:22 PM
 
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See, I think the scales are supposed to be viewed more as possessions than as an integral part of the fish. It clearly doesn't hurt him to remove them. I think the intended message is exactly the same as the one about sharing beautiful shells - not that you have to make yourself mediocre to fit in, but that if you have some possession others don't, it doesn't make you better than anyone else, and it might be better to share than to keep it to yourself and feel superior.

Thank you, I have seen Rainbow Fish bashed so much. I wholly agree w/your interpretation. That's how I've always presented it in the classroom.
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#243 of 266 Old 09-25-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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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!
Your post reminded me that my Tintin fan's b-day is coming up, so I just went and searched for "Tintin" at amazon. The first book that came up was Tintin in the Land of the Soviets -- with a "buy it together" deal for Tintin in the Congo. It's a facsimile reprint.

I wonder how Amazon search results are sorted? Weird that it was the first book in the search. Maybe it's a popular item with collectors. The little blurb also talked about it being an example of his early work, before his technique was more refined.

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#244 of 266 Old 09-25-2006, 02:16 PM
 
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Your post reminded me that my Tintin fan's b-day is coming up, so I just went and searched for "Tintin" at amazon. The first book that came up was Tintin in the Land of the Soviets -- with a "buy it together" deal for Tintin in the Congo. It's a facsimile reprint.
Actually, both of these books would be excellent jumping off points for discussions about the colonization of Africa or a history lesson about the FSU and how we gain better perspective on certain events through the lense of time.

Since Tin Tin is Belgian, and the Congo was colonized first by the king of the Belgians, King Leopold, and then taken over by Belgium afterwards, it is a remarkably accurate view of how Belgians view the Congo - in all its nastiness.

Read King Leopold's Ghost for more information about what happend in the Congo. It was genocidal and I do NOT use that word lightly.

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You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#245 of 266 Old 09-25-2006, 05:29 PM
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I agree with the pps who suggested that I Love You Forever is not meant to be creepy, but rather, to emphasize that a mother's love is forever. I remember being comforted by it when I was a kid. As an adult, I can see the boundary issues but when I was little, all I took from it was the idea that my mom would always be there for me.

And am I the only one who thought that The Giving Tree was a religious allegory?

Somebody mentioned the book about the mole who went in search of who dunnit (I can't recall the exact title). I love that book! My sister bought a copy years ago before either of us had kids; we laughed ourselves silly in the bookstore.

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#246 of 266 Old 09-25-2006, 07:49 PM
 
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Actually, both of these books would be excellent jumping off points for discussions about the colonization of Africa or a history lesson about the FSU and how we gain better perspective on certain events through the lense of time.
I agree, Siobhang, but my ds was something like 6yo and using his Tintin books to learn how to read! We just put them up for a few years, and now (he's 18) he's glad he has them, and can discourse at length on the facets of Hergé's abilities displayed therein and later.

They were just, erm, a bit of a shock to me, after the lighthearted escapades of the Castafiore Emerald and such (although I loved how the gypsies were portrayed and defended by Tintin in that story!).

Did anyone see the PBS documentary, "Tintin and Me," a few months back? Good stuff in there...

OK, sorry, didn't mean to drag the thread off topic. Back to hatin' on Rainbow Fish and Giving Tree...

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#247 of 266 Old 09-25-2006, 07:56 PM
 
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I agree, Siobhang, but my ds was something like 6yo and using his Tintin books to learn how to read!
heh, yeah, this would be rather an advanced conversation for a 6 year old...

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OK, sorry, didn't mean to drag the thread off topic. Back to hatin' on Rainbow Fish and Giving Tree...
Katje
LOL!

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#248 of 266 Old 09-28-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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Well, my daughter's school books came today and there in the pile was Ping. Poor, poor Ping.
I assume this was the cyber school from h3ll. I loved that book growing up, and I guess I always assumed it was more of a love pat. I remember not really liking love pats as a child, but they weren't violent. But you're right, we all have different opinions/interpretations.


I never liked Where the Wild Things Are. I just didn't think it was a good message.

I'm not a big fan of Thomas, but DS loves it. When things reall bug me, I tell him ("I don't like how the engines were mean to each other." or whatever).

Um, and we have this book called "I don't want to take a bath" about a tiger who doesn't want a bath, and at the end the Peacock is all snotty to him and says he won't play with him because he's too dirty which finally convinces tiger to take a look at himself. And then he turns round and is just at mean to leopard. ugh.
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#249 of 266 Old 01-19-2007, 03:14 AM
 
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I am bumping this old thread b/c I lovereading it but I have to go to bed now.

That being said, I hate rainbow fish and not just for the moral but b/c it has bad grammar!!
Has anyone else ever noticed that the editors of children's books let a lot of bad grammar slide? drives me batty. :

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#250 of 266 Old 01-19-2007, 09:49 PM
 
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* Honey Bunny Funnybunny about a little bunny's journey to accepting her brother's physical and mental torturing her as his way of expressing his love.
I KNOW! I was speechless when we ran across this one. Here we are teaching our kids to respect each other and form real friendships with their siblings.
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#251 of 266 Old 01-19-2007, 10:00 PM
 
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We do really like the No, David! books at our house. Yeah, they're naughty, but they're pretty fun. And my toddlers love the illustrations. I don't konw what it is; there is just something captivating about them. Bright, bold, clear, somthing. My 2 yr old likes that she can pretty much read it by herself!

We also have no character books. I don't usually censor (except for But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton - I do always include the armadillo at the end), although I do a lot of commentary. "And here we have Sam continuing in his quest to be slapped with a harassment suit. If someone says no once, you should not continually pester them. No means no, even for eggs!" Or, in regards to Love You Forever, "I don't know why this mother doesn't just come over during the daytime and knock on the door. It's pretty creepy that she's breaking into his house. If I ever start to do this when you're a grown up, you should definitely buy a home security system. And look into power of attorney."
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#252 of 266 Old 01-19-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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For anyone who's looking for an alternative to No, David!, Olivia, and Where the Wild Things Are that shows the persistance of Mama's love: Mem Fox's book Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild! is great. Harriet's mommy doesn't like to yell, and she tries hard to stay calm as Harriet inadvertently makes mess after mess and then apologizes. Finally, the mom snaps and yells and yells and yells (just AAAAAARGH sort of yelling, not chastising or anything critical). Then, she and her daughter reconcile and hug and clean up the mess together and laugh about it all.
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#253 of 266 Old 01-21-2007, 02:58 AM
 
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we have Love You Forever and dd likes it. She gets all cuddly with me every time I read it. But it IS a little much, I know. When the mother breaks into her adult son's home and rocks him, I sometimes add, "and the grown-up man says, "get out of my house, mom!""

If I come across a line in a book that I think is inappropriate, I will usually add a comment or talk about it after the story. It gets Dd thinking and she realizes that not everything we read is absolutely right and true.
I edit that part, too. Only I usually start off by saying, "And the Mama wished she could just go over...blah blah blah" or something like that. So it just seems like the mama just wishes her boy was a little one again, or something to that effect.
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#254 of 266 Old 01-23-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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For anyone who's looking for an alternative to No, David!, Olivia, and Where the Wild Things Are that shows the persistance of Mama's love: Mem Fox's book Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild! is great. Harriet's mommy doesn't like to yell, and she tries hard to stay calm as Harriet inadvertently makes mess after mess and then apologizes. Finally, the mom snaps and yells and yells and yells (just AAAAAARGH sort of yelling, not chastising or anything critical). Then, she and her daughter reconcile and hug and clean up the mess together and laugh about it all.
, Harriet Harris and her gentle Mama are on our fav list around here. We that book too!
When I'm frazzled and we sit down to read I always grab that one too and it brings me back a bit.

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#255 of 266 Old 01-23-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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The Giving Tree. Ugh. The tree "was happy" the boy took and never gave back.

Hope for the Flowers. Changing to a butterfly is not like death. (And a grain of wheat does not DIE to become a whole plant.)

I'm glad that somebody gets the Rainbow Fish! If The Giving Tree is a religious allegory it is still a bad book.

Nobody has mentioned It's Perfectly Normal. Ugh. Everything is normal. Disabilities, sicknesses, everything. And though I shut the book after a couple pages, I heard somebody mention, it calls circumcised penises normal.
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#256 of 266 Old 01-23-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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OK I think we need a poll. All of those in favor of boycotting The Giving Tree say "I"!

Someone mentioned Boynton books. I hate those. I know, I know... everyone loves them. But I have never bonded with those funny looking animals, I can't help it.
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#257 of 266 Old 01-24-2007, 10:46 AM
 
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Junie B. Jones. Am I the only mom who can't stand them? She drives me nuts!


Am totally with you on that. I *despise* those books.
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#258 of 266 Old 01-24-2007, 10:49 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?


We *adore* this book.


When we went through the NYC Transit Authority strike (still living in Manhattan at the time) we read that book daily, both in the run-up to the strike and during it. It was very stressful, and helped the kids understand why our lives were thrown so out-of-whack during it.


Also a year before, when DH's union (he was a NYC public school teacher) was considering a walk-out, we read it regularly. It's a scary time, when labor problems bring such uncertainty ...




Anyway, we love that book.




And BTW, we think unions are okay, too.
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#259 of 266 Old 01-24-2007, 12:56 PM
 
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Someone mentioned Boynton books. I hate those.
They're too cute for me. I never liked the Snuggle bear either.
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#260 of 266 Old 01-24-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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After I read this thread, I only wished that I had known about "Click, Clack, Moo" earlier so that I could've bought it for L when she was younger! It's a great book - I looked it over in B&N awhile ago and did actually consider getting it just because I like it!


I'm another mom who hates "The Giving Tree." I view the tree as a maternal figure, as well, and not in a positive, healthy light. According to my mom, though, L loves this book (a dear neighbor gave it to me when I was a kid and I never parted with it for this reason), so I still wouldn't 'censor' it.

L will sit for *hours* at a time being read to, and we go through so many books that we do end up reading some that I don't like at all for a variety of reasons. Oh well.
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#261 of 266 Old 01-24-2007, 06:10 PM
 
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I view the tree as a mother figure in "The Giving Tree". I have always used it as a lesson in how you should not behave. Both of my children will tell you that the boy is very selfish and should be thanking the tree for what she does.

I just finished reading a horrible book with my ds. It is called "The Four Winds". I can't remember the author but the book was horrid. At the end the parents and the children work together and I believe the message is supposed to be that working together as a family is what it is all about. The 2 children name call, are rude and just awful and the parents are absentee parents. This book will be disappearing from the bookcase as soon as I can find a place to store it.

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#262 of 266 Old 01-24-2007, 11:57 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that the Charlie & Lola books existed several years before the tv show, at least here in the states.

We love Charlie & Lola. I think they show great sibling relationships. No matter what Lola does, Charlie is there for her and vice versa. Charlie also comes up with some great alternative approaches to dealing with Lola.

We also really like Olivia. She's a bright, imaginative, fun little girlpig. She has grand dreams and they are more mature than those portrayed in other children's books.
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#263 of 266 Old 01-25-2007, 12:01 AM
 
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We don't censor books. Since I do most of the reading to the kids, I will read anything they pick out. If there are things that I find questionable, or things that the kids question, we talk about it. I give my children credit for being intelligent. I don't feel the need to think for them. I want them to think for themselves. And I know that they may grow up and have opinions that differ from mine. A lot of times they even pick up on things that I didn't notice.
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#264 of 266 Old 01-25-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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We don't censor books. Since I do most of the reading to the kids, I will read anything they pick out. If there are things that I find questionable, or things that the kids question, we talk about it. I give my children credit for being intelligent. I don't feel the need to think for them. I want them to think for themselves. And I know that they may grow up and have opinions that differ from mine. A lot of times they even pick up on things that I didn't notice.
What a great answer!

Yeah, one person's trash is another's treasure as the saying goes. I personally don't like "The Giving Tree" but can see where someone would find a good lesson in it. I adore "Hope for the Flowers", I see it as a "be who you are" and "there is more to life than what we first see" kind of thing
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#265 of 266 Old 01-25-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that the Charlie & Lola books existed several years before the tv show, at least here in the states.

We love Charlie & Lola. I think they show great sibling relationships. No matter what Lola does, Charlie is there for her and vice versa. Charlie also comes up with some great alternative approaches to dealing with Lola.
We love them too! I love the sibling relationship between Charlie and Lola.
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#266 of 266 Old 01-25-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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This book will be disappearing from the bookcase as soon as I can find a place to store it.
Thriftstores have lots of room.
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