what's the worst kid's book you've ever read? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think my son has a sixth sense about which books I just hate. He's been alternating between The Pokey Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey and A Day at the Fire Station by Richard Scary. The first book is just mind numbingly repetative (and it doesn't help that a single book session often involves 2 or 3 reads). The second book involves a lot of sound effect noises which I dislike, plus the text is broken up into strange bits all over the page. The only slightly redeeming quality is that the pig firefighters are served a giant pizza with both pepperoni and bacon on it and that bit of cannabalism is just a tad amusing.
We also own the original Cuious George book where CG gets kidnapped by the Man with the Yellow Hat, brought to America, smokes a pipe and ends up in jail. Kind of frightening and not such a great thing for the 2 yo mind to dwell on.
So what are the worst books you've ever had to read?

Mom to Owen (03/05), Mary (07/07) and Joseph (06/10).
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#2 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 04:41 PM
 
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"Henry and his (or the) Dragon" It actually wasn't all that bad but now dd is scared of shadows! I was hoping she'd be able to work through it after we returned it to the library, but 3wks later we're still dealing.

"Tuesday" It's just a picture book with very few words (I think maybe 5 total.) Great illustrations but OMG I hate having to explain to dd why there are frogs flying and what they're doing!

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#3 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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Oh, bummer, I LOVE Richard Scarry books. At least people are still reading them. They were totally my favorite when I was a kid.


My least favorite childrens' book, sadly, is The Giving Tree. Sneaky misogyny.
Sends a message I just don't like. It took me a quarter of a century to figure that message out, but once I saw it, I got the creeps.
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#4 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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DS loves the "David" books but mostly they drive me insane. Poor David. His mom is always yelling at him to stop doing this or stop doing that. And lots of the books are like, "Look how bad david is!!! He's such a BAD boy!!! He's always in trouble!"

And in one of the books there's a page where David is in his crib and he's crying and his mom is yelling (from another room) "GO TO SLEEP, DAVID" and poor david looks like he's 9 months old.

Oh, and DS also loves Curious George, and they're borderline imo. I hate the line, "Be a good little monkey and don't get into any trouble." DS has memorized that and always comments on "trouble" now. Also he's gotten too many bad ideas from george.

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#5 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I completely forgot about potty training books! We have something called The Potty Book for Boys and the kid NEVER washes his hands. Yuck. And we've checked out a Caillou uses the potty book where he puts the potty on his head! Why must these ideas be planted in my son's head???

Mom to Owen (03/05), Mary (07/07) and Joseph (06/10).
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#6 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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I don't like that 'love you forever book" it's kinda creepy that the mother crawl's into the window of her grown-up son's house and rocks him when he's asleep.

But the worst book I've ever read is this stupid rug rats book that my husband picked up on clearance. I hate reading it because it's in the voice of one of the characters, so the grammar and pronunciation is all messed up, and I feel like my reading it is an endorsement of speaking that way!
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#7 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't like that 'love you forever book" it's kinda creepy that the mother crawl's into the window of her grown-up son's house and rocks him when he's asleep.
I've never heard of that book, but that really is creepy!

Mom to Owen (03/05), Mary (07/07) and Joseph (06/10).
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#8 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 05:07 PM
 
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I don't like that 'love you forever book" it's kinda creepy that the mother crawl's into the window of her grown-up son's house and rocks him when he's asleep.
OOh - I think that book is creepy too - I had several people rave about it and ask me if I had that book when DD was born and I had to lie and say "yes" just because I didn't want people to buy it for me...

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#9 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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#10 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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OOh - I think that book is creepy too - I had several people rave about it and ask me if I had that book when DD was born and I had to lie and say "yes" just because I didn't want people to buy it for me...


Good for you! my mother gave it to me, and I've always been wondering if she was trying to send me some kind of weird co-dependent message with it 'I won't let go" or something...ick!
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#11 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 05:17 PM
 
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I don't really like most product tie-in books -- I have to admit that DD brought one "Disney Princess Treasury" book home from school with novel-length retellings of Disney movies, and it was almost shockingly well-written, considering. But generally, they're just total crap.

As far as actual books, we checked out one picture book from the library, The Pirate's Parrot, that was just disturbing and bizarre. The pirate captain's parrot dies so the crew ties a teddy bear onto his shoulder as a replacement, and it ends up being weirdly violent. I was glad when that one was due!
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#12 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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I've never heard of that book, but that really is creepy!
I love that book. I didn't think it was creepy at all. For being in a society that frowns upon holding and rocking our babies, especially as they grow older (you know, "that child is over a year old, you'll spoil her by rocking", etc) that it was really quite endearing.

I took the message to be one of unconditional affection that doesn't have to change as the child ages. Just because your "baby" is no longer a baby, doesn't mean you can't love them as so.

Plus, I think him and his wife suffered something like 7 miscarriages, so I think there is a little bit of the "enjoy them if you have them" thing going on there.

I dunno, I thought it was sweet. But, I still lay my head in my mom's lap so she can rub it. I think it's more metaphorical then literal, and I took it to understand there was a much bigger message then following your grown kids around, and actually sneaking into their room to rock them while they sleep. (I mean, as if my mother could pick me up out of bed and rock me without knowing.. come on!)

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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#13 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 05:23 PM
 
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The original Curious George! George is captured and sad, then he goes with the man with the yellow hat and smokes a pipe before bed, then he accidentally calls the fire dept so he goes to jail, last he is taken to live in the zoo (which is the original reason for his capture). ICK!

We have a lift the flap book called The Cat in the Hat's Great Big Lift the Flap Book. On the page that is similar to the 1 fish 2 fish book there is a big fish looking at a small fish and it says "And some are..." then you lift the flap and it says "very very bad" and the picture is of the big fish back handing the small fish in the face!!! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. :
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#14 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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my son loved "the giving tree". which had me in sobs at the end every.single.time. I read it.
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#15 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 05:29 PM
 
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I don't like that 'love you forever book" it's kinda creepy that the mother crawl's into the window of her grown-up son's house and rocks him when he's asleep.
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#16 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 06:12 PM
 
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"Babar and His Children". Right away, the doctor tells Babar's wife to supplement the babies with bottles of cows' milk because they aren't gaining weight fast enough. Then it describes (and includes several pictures of) one of the babies almost choking to death. Next, another one of the babies is thrown off a cliff and is saved only by falling in the branches of a tree. Finally the third baby is almost eaten by a crocodile and then nearly drowns (he must be revived). Babar grabs an anchor and "hurls it violently into the monster's (crocodile's) jaws."

All of this is described and illustrated in detail. And this book is a Weekly Reader Editor's Choice! We received the book as a gift and there is *no way* I will be reading this to ds!

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#17 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 06:48 PM
 
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I have Love You Forever, and it actually made me cry, so I only read it once, when I was pregnant, and haven't read it since! But my mom pretty much abandoned me and my brother when I was like 6, so....issues much?

Anyhoo, hands down, the saddest/freakiest children's book I've ever read is called Mabel the Whale, and it's about a whale (natch) who is captured from the sea and brought to an aquarium. She gets really depressed, so they sedate her and give her medicine, and then she's happy again. Seriously. It's horrible. It was given to me by a friend who doesn't have children, and she said she loved it as a child because it was the only book about an animal that she had, because her mother hated animals. Yikes.

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#18 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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I can't remember the title, but it was a cute looking book w/ animals on it, forest animals that is. When I read it it was about a hunter going into the woods to kill some deer:
Can't judge a book by its cover i guess:
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#19 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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The Very Grouchy Ladybug. That book is horrible--it's so mean-spirited and violent, I can't believe it got published!

And we have a few Thomas The Tank Engine books, and they're all about how the trains should behave this way or that way. But then the author keeps referring to the "fat controller." I mean, sure, it's important to teach kids to take a bath, but how about not teaching kids to call other people fat!? (then again, I think I have a British version of these books--do they call him the fat controller in the American version too?)
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#20 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 07:02 PM
 
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I love the Very Grouchy Ladybug, out to kick some BUTT! It cracks me up.
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#21 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 07:09 PM
 
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I love the Very Grouchy Ladybug, out to kick some BUTT! It cracks me up.
Really?? I think I must be missing some intended "girl power" message in that story or something.
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#22 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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"the poky little puppy" was my favourite as a child

dd right now loves two dr. suess - like books, "mr. brown can moo, can you?" and "the dr. suess alphabet" and dh and i HATE them. the sounds in mr. brown don't make sense and the alphabet book is just hard to read.
the worst though was my little sister's favourite, "angela's airplane" where this little girl gets lost at an airport and then accidentally flies a plane and crashes it :

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#23 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 07:14 PM
 
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"Good Night Fuzzy".. it is about a little boy who wants to sleep in his parents bed.. and they force him to sleep in his own bed..

DH and I were HORRIFIED!! It was so sad... the boy sobbing "But I want to sleep with you!!!!!!!!" as he begs in front of his parents bedroom door..


oh so sad.. so so sad. We never read it to DS.. just hid it somewhere.

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#24 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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Really?? I think I must be missing some intended "girl power" message in that story or something.
I don't think you're missing anything -- it's a boy ladybug, isn't it? But his grouchiness and his ambition are so out of proportion with his size ... you know, he's picking fights with elephants, and then dismissing them because they aren't big enough to be worth vanquishing with his teeny tiny ladybug fists.

I guess it helps me understand what it must be like to be a two-year-old. You want to assert yourself SO BADLY and everybody's bigger than you and you have basically no patience or ability to cope with frustration. Oh, and everybody is pushing you to share, and YOU DON'T WANT TO SHARE, damn it.
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#25 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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I remembered another one: Lucky the Duckling.

"Luck the duckling loves to swim.
All the other ducks follow him.
When the big ducks come out to play,
Lucky the duckling swims the other way."

That is the whole story and I just do not get the message. Plus, Lucky is not swimming, he's in a boat!

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#26 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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This isn't a worst -- It's just a personal bad experience. When I was a kid, one of my brothers died at age one, and at some point after that someone gave us a copy of the book "The Littlest Angel". This is a description I just found: "A little boy who has recently become the littlest angel in heaven is unhappy and homesick. He drives the other angels crazy with his piercing whistle and slipping halo. Finally, he is sent to see an 'angel of peace.'" (It goes on)

I will never forget my mother trying to read us this book, and bursting into tears. (I was about 4 at the time.) She got so upset she couldn't finish it. After that, I had an aversion to the book and felt we should hide it.

This is a really interesting question. I'll have to think more about "The Worst."
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#27 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 09:18 PM
 
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Dick and Jane. These are SO STUPID.
See Jane Run.
Run Jane.
See Jane.
Funny Jane.
Funny funny Jane.
Run Jane.
Run. Run. Run.

Seriously. My 2 yo is bored by them.
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#28 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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I don't like that 'love you forever book" it's kinda creepy that the mother crawl's into the window of her grown-up son's house and rocks him when he's asleep.

I hate that creepy book! It was given to us as a gift and donated the next week. Yuck!

Casey
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#29 of 126 Old 06-20-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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I kind of hate _The Runaway Bunny_ due to its repetitive cheesiness. Actually, at this point, I am beginning to dread all of Alex's books. Maybe I won't expose the next baby to books.

Mandy, mother to Alexandra (10/14/05) and William (12/21/07)
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#30 of 126 Old 06-21-2007, 12:08 AM
 
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Hands down- Meet Tonka Joe, or one of those Tonka Joe books. It's AWFUL. So bad I had to make up an entire story to go along with it and return it to the library early. Tonka Joe sees his neice and nephew on the street and agrees to a picnic later on. But he goes back to his garage and gets so caught up reliving memories of his gigantic trucks (the Flame Racer, Blizzard Rig, Hazard Handler, Fire Walker, Pulverizer, and Path Cutter, just to give you an idea.) Each page is a story about how "DISASTER STRUCK!" and how he had to use whichever gaz guzzling nightmare machine to save the day. He forgets about the picnic and when his neice and nephew calls he assumes something horrible has happened so he rushes up the mountain in one of his trucks to save the day. I can never decide what message in that book is the most disturbing!
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