Children's books that you just don't like - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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Parenting > Children's books that you just don't like
earthmama4's Avatar earthmama4 05:38 PM 07-31-2013

Rainbow Fish is to me about sharing being a way to get friends, not giving up parts of ourselves. The Rainbow Fish is pretty rude at the start of the book - laughing at the other fish and saying "Never!" I like how he realizes that its not his scales that make him happy, but seeing happiness in others. In a world where people feel its what they have that make them happy and less emphasis on the happiness that comes from good relationships, I think its a good message especially for preschoolers who are trying to overcome the natural selfcenteredness of toddlerhood and learning to share and make friends. 

 

I agree, I am not a huge fan of Run Away Bunny. Its kind of a stalker mom without boundaries book at first glance. But if you consider the target audience (preschoolers) its more likely that age is testing the boundaries of their parents love, not truly trying to become emancipated. Kind of like "Mama, Do You Love Me?" with the girl asking if her mama will still love her if she does this or becomes that and the answer is always yes.

 

The Giving Tree is a disturbing book. I have heard it read over pulpit so I think it is supposed to be some grand example of Christian love, but I much prefer some boundaries in my relationships thank you. Its like Rainbow Fish but then all the fish want his fins, and then his tail, and then his eyeballs, and he's supposed to be happy about it. I think the most telling line in the book is toward the end. "And the tree was happy...but not really."  

 

I don't like the touch and feel animal books. Seriously? You cannot match fur or skin  better than that? Makes the animals look like they have some sort of disease.

 

I don't like any of the baby Einstein books either. The mix of cheesy puppets and real life photography just bugs. And the rhymes are forced. 



anachka's Avatar anachka 06:13 PM 07-31-2013
This thread rules! Soooo funny! Just earlier I me tend my dislike for those "Where's Baby's Mama" books, you know, the Usborn ones (I think)? For no reason other than my kid always chooses it to read and the flaps are annoying and it's not a quality story. I'm hatin' for sure, but I'm pregnant and just in that kind of mood today:0
McGucks's Avatar McGucks 06:45 PM 07-31-2013
Baby Einstein books, to me, are intolerable because the art is so lousy and they never have good stories.

Any book that has sound effects is donated or goes to the resale store. I have never seen one with an actual good story. MIL gives them to our three year old, who does not seem to care about them one way or the other, and says "I know Mommy doesn't like noisy books, so she will have to hold her ears! Ha ha!" Ha ha, no.

I LOVE Mem Fox's "It's Time for Bed."
dbsam's Avatar dbsam 06:55 PM 07-31-2013

We did not like Junie B Jones.  Based upon the recommendation of others, we bought the entire series at a school book sale, read a few then put them all on bookmooch.

We thought Junie was bratty and the books are just irritating.


BushMama83's Avatar BushMama83 07:18 PM 07-31-2013

My husband would like me to add a book called "Trucks", by Bright Baby. It is a board book with a photo of a different kind of truck on each page, and beneath it names the truck (like "dump truck", "big rig", "digger", "tractor"). Our son is in love with this book currently, the digger page in particular. He will literally sit on that page for several minutes, just saying over and over "oh, big digger! digger! find 'em, digger!" 

 

We can't wait to disappear it. 


evmadi's Avatar evmadi 07:21 PM 07-31-2013
I bought "Dear Mili" for it's pretty pictures...big mistake.
Katrinaquerida's Avatar Katrinaquerida 08:44 PM 07-31-2013

My middle son  requested NO David! and loves it. I think he finds it reassuring that David is still loved in the end... however he was totally creeped out by I love you forever. He kept saying "did the mom die?" Yikes! I hate tv and movie books, and I am sick of pinkalicious too. I always want to read Robert McCloskey, but the kids aren't into it. 


demeter888's Avatar demeter888 09:41 PM 07-31-2013

I really dislike The Adventurers, which is too bad because it is beautifully illustrated.  Basically, every brief adventure ends with a monster coming to attack the characters and them fleeing.  I understand why this is exciting for a kid, but that doesn't make it OK to put such ideas into a kid's head in the first place.  Really, just a dumb book over all.


colsxjack's Avatar colsxjack 10:19 PM 07-31-2013

I hate the beatrix potter books. They are so unkind to the children animals.

 

I dont mind little critter. But I have read so many over and over and over again. But I may be swayed because DD LOVED them at age 2 and called the "the guybook". lol

 

I do not like Love You Forever. It is creepy. Although I like most other Robert Munch Books.

 

I do not like fancy nancy books. Unfortunately my DD does. I find Fancy Nancy quite annoying. I like the vocab, but not the kid. She is self-rightious.

 

Princess Poppy books also annoy me. No real morals or story.

 

I love the silliness of Dr. Suess.

 

I really like the Sam and Stella books.

 

I absolutely HATE Max and Ruby. Awful illustrations, stupid stories, repetitive, just awful.


Red Pajama's Avatar Red Pajama 11:29 PM 07-31-2013

There are certain books (Love you forever and Giving Tree are specific examples) that are not for children, but are written for adults to remember their own children. People buy them, of course, for kids, but in terms of who wants to read it, they are books for adults. This was one of the topics in my school library administration courses. They make much more sense when you imagine a grown person reading them and remembering, than thinking of reading these books to children.

 

I don't mind Llama Llama red pajama (hence the name I post under), but do feel like the most recent one was not to my liking.

 

I really don't like The Little Engine that Could, because we've got 6 copies and can't seem to make them go away. And it's so poorly written.

 

I really don't like the  TV character/cartoon books. The Dora books are probably a least favorite, but any in that genre are on my hit list.


Red Pajama's Avatar Red Pajama 11:34 PM 07-31-2013

I absolutely HATE Max and Ruby. Awful illustrations, stupid stories, repetitive, just awful.

 

Have you seen the original Max books, like Bunny Money, Max Cleans Up, Bunny Cakes, Bunny Mail, or Max's Chocolate Chicken? I ask, because the books that are written as part of the TV series are terrible. No doubt. But the ones listed, actually written by Rosemary Wells  (not "based on the characters created by') are actually very good. 


Laurucha's Avatar Laurucha 12:25 AM 08-01-2013
"Love You Forever" is so creepy. That is not a healthy mother-son relationship. I found a copy that my mother-in-law had given to my husband before we were together and I thought, "What the hell?" I was already worried that I was in trouble because he is an only child and she has been single since he was little. I suspected she might be too attached. It will come as no surprise to anyone that she does not seem to be capable of a civil relationship with me. Bottom line - if your mother-in-law likes this book, you are in for trouble!
Jennyfur's Avatar Jennyfur 01:47 AM 08-01-2013

I absolutely love the nonsense words of Dr. Seuss--very reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's work.  My kids grew up surrounded by similar books and are now adults (well, 3 out of 4) with fierce interest in linguistics and language and wordplay!  :D


meko's Avatar meko 06:02 AM 08-01-2013

Anything with the Little Critters. 


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 06:41 AM 08-01-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I don't like The Giving Tree.
 

That is an odd book. On the one hand, I do like how it reads and I like the simple illustrations but I agree that the message is pretty off putting. Apparently there are a lot of different interpretations of the deeper meaning of this book. Either way, loving shouldn't mean giving of yourself until you're just a stump of your former self, right?  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushMama83 View Post

I'm not a fan of Thomas' Snowsuit by Robert Munsch! My little one started his "Noooo!" phase right around the time he was gifted this book. Coincidence? I think not!

I have an 11 year old and a toddler who is just getting interested in books beyond the Baby Bug magazine she's been getting for the past year.  You all are taking me back to the love/hate relationship I had with reading to my DC. For me Robert Munsch came at a time where my DC really needed that style of book. The length and interest level was PERFECT for my DC when we discovered his books. I will always have a soft spot for him because of that. 

 

The series I remember disliking the most was the Magic Schoolbus series. It's not that I didn't like the content but I remember just hating to read all the little thought bubbles and asides. It could also have to do with the fact that DC LOVED these books and we OD'd on them a bit. 

 

As we start to read to our toddler I am starting to dig out the boxes and boxes of books from when our older DC was young. Mariana and the Merchild may be my favorite. Charlotte's Web is the first chapter book my DC liked so I will always love that book for getting us out of picture book he!!.  ;-)  

 

Also, I give every new baby I know a copy of Red Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boyton. It's cute to read and it was the first "joke" my first DC got so I have such fond memories of her chuckling at that book. 


McGucks's Avatar McGucks 07:24 AM 08-01-2013
The new "Max and Ruby" series is a wreck. The ones before the show were funny, understated, and a favorite for sure. The new ones have bunnies with the same names, and that is where the similarity ends.
SweetSilver's Avatar SweetSilver 09:18 AM 08-01-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavamamakava View Post

The Rainbow Fish makes me sad that the fish had to give up who he was to fit in. 

Oh, good.  I didn't have to plow through the whole thread wondering if someone else had the same feelings.  I supposed I was more angry than sad.  I hate that those other fish were so selfish.... gimme gimme gimme.. what the hell?

 

Clifford.

 

Amelia Bedelia, beyond the first book.  My girls hated even that one.

 

Dr. Seuss's endless parade of Weird Things.  "If I Ran the Circus" was the exception, thanks to good old Mr. Sneelock.  

 

Back to the thread.....


SweetSilver's Avatar SweetSilver 09:24 AM 08-01-2013

No one mentioned the Miss Spider books.  Besides the illustrations, which I dislike, I hate when books completely brush off biological realities for their characters.  A spider that doesn't eat bugs?  And wants to reinforce this fact by inviting them to a tea party?  Sheesh!  Drives me batty.


milkfed's Avatar milkfed 10:12 AM 08-01-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dela View Post

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.


Yes, this re the Red Pajama book. Mostly though, I was reading it and it felt like page after page was about Llama getting more and more upset...and that kind of upset ME!  Apparently my baby laughed at the story.  I felt like Llama was a little bit afraid in the dark and I didn't want my baby to associate being alone in the dark in his bed with being scary.  Again, I read through it once, and not even all the way through, so I know I'm being a softy and perhaps judging too quickly. 

 

As a FTM, I knew I would have to be choosy about what I exposed my son to, but didn't realize so many of the books I grew up with maybe teach lessons I don't want to be taught :)  Really appreciate the suggestions for other books in this thread.  Great topic!


salr's Avatar salr 10:13 AM 08-01-2013

I love the Boynton books too.

 

I haven't read the Red Pajama one, but in the Misses Mama book the teacher seems really caring and no one makes fun of the llama for being sad.  The kids try to cheer him up.  And then the mama comes and plays a bit at the end and they love each other.  Oh, man I love that book!  In the Mad at Mama book the mama takes him shopping, he has a fit but the mama doesn't shame him.  She just says that's not OK and then they clean up together.  Then the mama gets him to participate in the trip.  I thought it was cool because the mama had a better idea of how to handle things on her part and then implemented it.  I figured other people might not like it because at the end they still go out for ice cream together.  But I thought that was neat because they stick to their happy family plans and they love each other in the end even though they had a rough day.  Anyone see these two books differently?


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 10:39 AM 08-01-2013
Other books I love - Frog and Toad. <3
zbugmama's Avatar zbugmama 12:19 PM 08-01-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbvr View Post

....I also dislike the controlling tone of "The Runaway Bunny" Margaret Wise Brown

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama4 View Post

 

I agree, I am not a huge fan of Run Away Bunny. Its kind of a stalker mom without boundaries book at first glance. But if you consider the target audience (preschoolers) its more likely that age is testing the boundaries of their parents love, not truly trying to become emancipated. Kind of like "Mama, Do You Love Me?" with the girl asking if her mama will still love her if she does this or becomes that and the answer is always yes.

 

 

I slipped Runaway Bunny into the giveaway pile shortly after reading it for the first time, but an early childhood educator friend of mine said that the stalker mom is not creepy, but reassuring to young children.

 

The text and illustrations of the Richard Scarry books drive me nuts, but my DD loves them, and knows all kind of weird details about building roads and houses from those stories.  Same with Magic School Bus, her current addiction.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

Other books I love - Frog and Toad. <3

 

LOVE Frog and Toad, and most things by Mo Willems, especially Elephant and Piggie.  (The first time we read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, we read the first page and DD said yes to the Pigeon.)


Mummoth's Avatar Mummoth 03:05 PM 08-01-2013

I hate "Love You Forever" but after reading this thread, I've made a mental note to buy it for my son when he's older, just to screw with his future spouse's head.


swimmy's Avatar swimmy 05:15 PM 08-01-2013

I don't like:

Berenstein Bears

Clifford

Little Critters

Caillou

Robert Munsch books illustrated by Michael Martchenko

 

I think a lot of these have a negative aspect that the characters overcome, but I don't like the way the negative aspect is introduced.

 

I love this thread!


newmamalizzy's Avatar newmamalizzy 07:29 PM 08-01-2013

Not a particular book, book 2 general things I'm hating lately:

 

1.  We have about 8,000 different kids books by different authors with exactly the same stupid story where each page features a different animal saying the same thing (i.e. The Very Busy Spider, Little Mouse's Big Secret).  I am so sick of that storyline.

 

2. It seems like a lot of authors write a charming hit story and then follow it up with a bunch of books that are essentially the same, like Little Pea/Little Hoot/Spoon.  I kind of liked the original Pinkalicious story until I realized there were a billion more books like that.

 

I don't see as many books as problematic due to their messages as many here.  I think sometimes the book is for the child to live vicariously, or recognize him/herself in the character rather than learn a lesson.  I think the Little Critter books, in particular, are good for this.  They really resonate with my daughter. 

 

Anyone else agree, though, that 95% of the "I Can Read" books with the level numbers are absolutely awful???  I mean, I know they have to be simply written, but, ugh. 
 


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama 10:50 PM 08-01-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post

Anyone else agree, though, that 95% of the "I Can Read" books with the level numbers are absolutely awful???  I mean, I know they have to be simply written, but, ugh. 
 

Yes!!  I HATED those books. First, they were just boring and the art was terrible and then to add insult to injury my DC was a struggling reader with high comprehension so she had to suffer through these for YEARS.  Poor thing. 


GISDiva's Avatar GISDiva 09:53 AM 08-02-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

Other books I love - Frog and Toad. <3

 

We all love them too, we have some of them from when DH was a kid.  But we also have "Owl at Home" by Lobel.  Can anybody explain to me the tear-water tea story?  I scratch my head at it every time we read it.

 

Someone mentioned hating reading all the little bubbles in the Magic School Bus books - I had the exact same thought when we brought some home from the library.  I never know which order to read them in and they suck the flow right out of the story.

 

Shel Silverstein's poetry books were a favorite too from very early on - some of the themes and even words were a bit sketchy for my son, but he so loved the odd drawings and the broad range of subject matter that I just couldn't say no.  ;)

 

This thread is just reminding me that I was meaning to clean out my son's bookshelf...


SweetSilver's Avatar SweetSilver 10:41 AM 08-02-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by GISDiva View Post

 

Someone mentioned hating reading all the little bubbles in the Magic School Bus books - I had the exact same thought when we brought some home from the library.  I never know which order to read them in and they suck the flow right out of the story.

 

We love these books as well.  I always make an agreement with my girls about what exactly we are reading.  If we don't have much time, we just read the text.  More time, we read the bubbles and text.  Infinite time (or don't care if we finish) text, bubbles and "reports".  Now they are older and reading, I can read the text, they can read the bubbles.


mhemingson's Avatar mhemingson 11:10 AM 08-02-2013

I really don't like The Mineosaur. We got it through the Imagination Library and it was supposed to teach our child about sharing, but ended up helping to teach the phrase "mine mine mine!" Not the book's fault, but I definitely hide it ;)


softtouchdoula's Avatar softtouchdoula 12:07 PM 08-02-2013

I can't stand Hansel & Gretel.  Two parents trying repeatedly to loose their children in the woods.  How awful! Then the two kids having to push a mean lady into a fire in order to survive.  Abandonment and burning of people.  Great book.


Tags: Childrens Books , The Cat In The Hat Beginner Books R , Love You Forever , Popular On Mothering In 2013
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