Children's books that you just don't like - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 04:21 PM
 
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I'm with you on the Disney books. I wouldn't necessarily mind that they are Disney, but they're SOOO badly written I can't stand to read them aloud.
 

I hate those Disney  books. I call them movie books and the kids know that I will never read them to them.  If I want the story I will just watch the movie.  Ugg they are ghastly.

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#32 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 04:24 PM
 
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I hate the "David" books and Skippyjon Jones books. I ordered both in school mass market paperback when we were going to be overseas for an extended period and I hadn't seen either in person. They are not at all to my taste, and the David books are terribly "bratty". My in-laws have purchased some dull, preachy ones that I also didn't care for such as one about "filling your bucket" and the Lois Ehlert leaf books. *yawn*  But then they also found the enchanting baby wombat book, so it is a mixed bag. ;)

 

We love the Llama Llama books, especially the Llama, Llama Misses Mama book because it was very appropriate for us when my DD was adjusting to preschool. I don't find the Red Pajama book all that problematic even though we have a different parenting style (co-sleeping). *shrug* It is refreshing to occasionally see examples of co-sleeping families in readings, but unfortunately I mostly only see those in our Japanese language picture books! :) We also enjoy the Dinosaur books. However our favorites, for an unusual one, include "a lot of otters"- something about the fantasy of the story and the artwork just weaves a spell for us, and i love the connection between child and mother depicted. We also like "where the wild things are" and "goodnight moon." My daughter adores the Corduroy books as well.
 

We read Seuss because my daughter enjoys it, but it is something of a chore.

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#33 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 04:29 PM
 
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Disney books. Anything Disney. Especially Cars or Princesses.

Anything about Dora too. DEATH TO DORA.

 

Ping the Duck. Horrible, nasty book that normalizes corporal punishment.

 

I agree with the Llama Llama books being a reinforcement of "mainstream" ideas too, and not only that but an ego-stroke for mainstream moms. Icky.

 

Fancy Nancy and her even more stereotyped and shallow cousin Pinkalicious. Gahhhh.

 

Peter Rabbit.

 

Little House series. HATE those books and hated them as a kid.

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#34 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 04:33 PM
 
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If Dora is found dead we will all know who the main suspect is...

We have some crappy book about The Lion King and my son LOVES it. Why is this stuff published and my great American novel languishes on my computer???? LOL
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#35 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 04:36 PM
 
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Cant stand creepy "Love you Forever"......I also dislike the controlling tone of "The Runaway Bunny" Margaret Wise Brown

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#36 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 04:39 PM
 
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Anything about Dora too. DEATH TO DORA.

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#37 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 06:17 PM
 
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UGH. The Little Critter books - every single one of them. They are pointless! One starts out "I was so mad" then ends with "I will be mad again tomorrow." Well, great idea - let's teach kids to not LET GO and resolve anger issues.

 

And I am so with you on Green Eggs and Ham. Easy read, just rolls off the tongue, but so many underlying issues...

 

(btw LOVE this thread!!!)

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#38 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 07:37 PM
 
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Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. No good reason. It just bugs me.

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#39 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 10:48 PM
 
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I don't think you should view The Giving Tree as analogous to human relationships. It's quite clearly about man's exploitation of nature, which gives and gives and gives, until there's nothing left. I LOVE that book, even though it makes me cry every time.

I hate anything by Richard Scarry, and the Berenstain Bears annoy me to no end. Every Disney "book" (aka, profit/brand extender) should be burned.

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I'm with you on the Disney books. I wouldn't necessarily mind that they are Disney, but they're SOOO badly written I can't stand to read them aloud.

They are definitely profit/brand extenders, and awful. Any of those books based on licensed characters are like that. Most of the time they don't even credit the "author" on the cover, because they're not someone's art that they put thought and love into, they're slick crap to sell more product. We were soooooooo happy to return a princess ANTHOLOGY to the library last week. It was torture.

My dad and stepmom have no idea how to look for interesting children's books, and therefore always buy what they consider classics: Beatrix Potter, Disney or Sesame Street, Dr. Seuss. None of these things resonate with me anymore, though I liked them as a kid.
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#40 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 10:55 PM
 
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I do like The giving tree, it shows giving gives mostly happiness, taking gives mostly discontentness.

 

I don't like most our dutch children's books sad to say. Almost every book has the moral of children that have to listen or else, children are naughty and/or stupid everything goes wrong in almost every book. It is hard to search for nice childrens books. Therefore I tend to buy a lot of english books, she learns english at the same time. :)

 

Also I don't like marketing books, like Dora etc.

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#41 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 05:11 AM
 
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YES!! A friend of mine shared Love You Forever with me, thinking it was so sweet and wonderful and I was really shocked with how inappropriate it was! The mother is sneaking into his house when he is an adult with a family to rock him?! I think it really shows lack of respect for our children growing up and lack of boundaries in general. Ugg.

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#42 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 05:51 AM
 
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Aw, I love I Love You Forever. It was the first book I bought when I found out I was pregnant. The first night I had my DS, following a high risk pregnancy, and he was in the NICU, it was the first book I read to him. I later found out that Munsch dedicated it to the 2 babies he and his wife lost. It was essentially an elegy to those departed little ones. I dunno, maybe that makes it even more disturbing to y'all.

 

Someone mentioned Richard Scarry. His books never appealed to me. I don't like Curious George either. That's due to a combination of disliking the naughty behaviour and the fact that I cannot stand monkeys of any kind. Talk about creepy. All monkeys (including apes and chimpanzees) are creepy.

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#43 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 09:26 AM
 
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God Gave Us You....I have no problem with Christian books, but a bear with an OB, Doppler, hospital birth, and bottle feeding? If anyone can UC and breastfeed, its a durn bear!

The Backyardigans are intolerable.
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#44 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 09:40 AM
 
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I can't stand Guess How Much I Love You. I find it nauseating, overcomplicated, and repetitive in a boring way. All the characters have super long names and it doesn't scan. Badly written and no plot.

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#45 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 09:50 AM
 
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God Gave Us You....I have no problem with Christian books, but a bear with an OB, Doppler, hospital birth, and bottle feeding? If anyone can UC and breastfeed, its a durn bear!

The Backyardigans are intolerable.

Did they use forceps?? LOL
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#46 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 11:15 AM
 
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Our daughter is at the board-book age (eight months)--she's fascinated by books, since my husband, our older daughter, and I read constantly, but only board books can survive her oral exploration and ripping of pages--and I'd love to see some quality literature for this age group. It seems they all have a single sentence (or even a single word) on a page, as if they're targeted at preschoolers learning word recognition and decoding, but since the littlest ones aren't even at that stage, wouldn't it be great to have simple stories parents enjoy reading aloud without cringing and babies and toddlers can munch on without destroying them?

 

I agree with much of what the previous posters have said about loathed literature. In the past, psychologists like Bruno Bettleheim championed fairy tales because of the fantasy component, but now there are so many more wonderful fantasy books that don't contain all that violence, sexism, racism, and punitive child-rearing philosophy. They strike me as cultural artifacts for folklorists to study, not something to read to a child. Beatrix Potter's work makes me smile because of the Victorian feel (including animals wearing pinafores and jackets--it's just too silly for words), but I'd be uncomfortable sharing them with a child because the poor animal-children are always getting spanked for such "indiscretions" as shedding clothes no self-respecting animal would wear! I also find media tie-in books so irritating, Disney in particular (princesses--gaak!), but others as well. As a rule, they seem poorly written and, since we don't have a television, Luthien won't have any context for the characters and situations. And then there are those aggravating books that make pesky noises when you press them, such as one we recently culled that featured Elmo toilet-training his doll, complete with the sounds of flushing, toilet paper spinning on the roll, and other things I could imagine Luthien pressing ad nauseam, causing a parental breakdown.

 

We like Eric Carle, Leo Lionni, The Velveteen Rabbit, and for older children, The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, which features real moral dilemmas and never talks down to its middle-grade audiences. 

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#47 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 11:17 AM
 
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Oh, I should explain...the toilet-training book made all these sounds when you press a button with an image of the object, such as the toilet. Argh!

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#48 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 12:28 PM
 
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My mom (who is a retired ECFE director) bought me a book of fairy tales when my daughter was born.  After looking through several different books, trying to find one that was't just plain freaky (a very difficult task, btw), she finally found one that she liked.  Unfortunately, she skipped over 2 important pages.  She was shocked when I sent a pic of what I found on those 2 pages, and it was returned ASAP.  Now we look through every page of every book before my daughter gets to see it ;)

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#49 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 12:58 PM
 
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I'm also a hater of Rainbow Fish.  Self-mutilation as the path to popularity?!? 

 

I'm not a big fan of The Giving Tree, but that's mainly because I was raised Unitarian and that book was heavily overused as a "sermon" for children's chapel.

 

We had a book called Mr. Nosy about a guy who always wants to know what others are doing.  So the others gang up on him to physically injure his nose.  The moral, apparently, is that if you are interested in the activities of your fellow people, you deserve to be assaulted and maimed!!!  After one reading I put that book through the shredder.

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#50 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 01:08 PM
 
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I'm also a hater of Rainbow Fish.  Self-mutilation as the path to popularity?!? 

 

I'm not a big fan of The Giving Tree, but that's mainly because I was raised Unitarian and that book was heavily overused as a "sermon" for children's chapel.

 

We had a book called Mr. Nosy about a guy who always wants to know what others are doing.  So the others gang up on him to physically injure his nose.  The moral, apparently, is that if you are interested in the activities of your fellow people, you deserve to be assaulted and maimed!!!  After one reading I put that book through the shredder.

I too dislike Mr. Nosy. Hooray for apathy! OR ELSE.

 

Gotta say though, I still love The Giving Tree. But I was never beaten over the head with it and it was never used as any kind of moral/emotional blackmail, so I'm sure I'd feel hostile to it if it was.

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#51 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 01:10 PM
 
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#52 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 01:11 PM
 
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I hate "Pat The Bunny" because the stinky "flower" smell gives me a headache.

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#53 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 01:55 PM
 
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Oh, I almost forgot the Junie B. Jones series. I loved it at first- so fun to read in a little kid voice. But I soon realized that the behaviors, attitudes and mispronounced words were a terrible influence on my 4 year old. He's many levels above that character, verbally- rarely mispronounces words and wasn't a name-caller prior to reading it.

I wanted to love the Stillwater books, too- "Zen Shorts" and "Zen Ghosts", but they are a bit nuanced still.

I would love some good humanist and Buddhist leaning books that are well-written and beautifully illustrated.

I really wish more children's books could be good role-modeling while still keeping with age appropriateness.
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#54 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 02:08 PM
 
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Can someone explain what's mainstream about Llama Llama?  I mean, in a bad way?... They live in a house and not a yurt, right?  And...the llama is in daycare? Not using family cloth?   Maybe I haven't read enough of them.  They seem pretty normal to me and I can't think of anything I found inappropriate like language usage, discipline style, racism, evil messages. 

 

It's OK, I hate the David Smells book and the Pigeon books.  And I guess I just didn't think the joke in the Pigeon book I read was funny.  To each his own!

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#55 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 02:37 PM
 
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I do not like the "No, David!" books...too sad and mean.

I have no objection to "Llama, Llama, Where's Your Mama?" Yes, he goes to daycare. So do the children of lots of loving parents.

Love Dr. Seuss, many Boynton books, Tom and CeCe Bell, and a zillion others. Loved the "Little House on the Prairie" series.

No Disney here, but he gets it at MiLs. Too much violence/peril for me.

I am not a fan of "Little Critter."

Got rid of "Rainbow Fish" last week. I am all into sharing and losing conceit, but not into carving off bits of yourself to be with the "in" crowd.
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#56 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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The newer Berenstain Bear books. I haven't looked over the older ones for quite some time, but the flow of language in the new stories is awful! Anything Dr. Seuss drives me crazy, as does Curious George.

 

It's interesting that a few people here have listed the Pigeon books by Mo Willems. We love those!

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#57 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love the pigeon books too! They're favorites.

We did receive a couple of those Disney books as gifts and they are awful. They're just the story of the movie, and they're boring and much longer than they need to be.
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#58 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 03:13 PM
 
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Our daughter is at the board-book age (eight months)--she's fascinated by books, since my husband, our older daughter, and I read constantly, but only board books can survive her oral exploration and ripping of pages--and I'd love to see some quality literature for this age group. It seems they all have a single sentence (or even a single word) on a page, as if they're targeted at preschoolers learning word recognition and decoding, but since the littlest ones aren't even at that stage, wouldn't it be great to have simple stories parents enjoy reading aloud without cringing and babies and toddlers can munch on without destroying them?

Try the Hairy McLary books by Lynley Dodd. Many of them are published as board books and she doesn't hesitate to use words of more than one syllable :-) I've never seen "bellicose" in any other children's book.
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#59 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 03:16 PM
 
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I hate "love you forever"  The weird illustrations, the overbearing message and more than anything the fact that it makes me cry every time I have to read it.  Its like "cat's cradle."  Stupid annoying song makes me cry. 
 

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#60 of 140 Old 07-31-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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I do not like the "No, David!" books...too sad and mean.

I have no objection to "Llama, Llama, Where's Your Mama?" Yes, he goes to daycare. So do the children of lots of loving parents.

Love Dr. Seuss, many Boynton books, Tom and CeCe Bell, and a zillion others. Loved the "Little House on the Prairie" series.

No Disney here, but he gets it at MiLs. Too much violence/peril for me.

I am not a fan of "Little Critter."

Got rid of "Rainbow Fish" last week. I am all into sharing and losing conceit, but not into carving off bits of yourself to be with the "in" crowd.

I don't speak for anyone else, but for me the Llama Llama books irk me not because of daycare or not co-sleeping (though that did make me put it back in the library rather than check it out for my kids, since the Red Pajama book is centered entirely around what basically equates to CIO), but rather because the ones I read (Misses Mama, Red Pajama and Mad at Mama) were extremely dismissive of children and the tone is (to me) that of *wink wink tee-hee nudge nudge parents! aren't children terrible!* I don't like parent-service I guess, it bothers me in movies, ads, and TV shows too.


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