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

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#1 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't like The Giving Tree.

There, I admitted it. People say it's a story of love, but it seems like some kind of dysfunctional relationship with a martyr to me. I just don't like it.

What children's books do you dislike?
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#2 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 09:32 AM
 
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I have a love-hate relationship with Green Eggs and Ham.  I love the way it rolls off my tongue, but I hate the way Sam badgers the other character, has zero respect for boundaries, etc... and then at the end, the other character gives in, thereby sending Sam the message that it's acceptable to treat him that way.  It strikes me as an unhealthy relationship. 
 

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#3 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 09:37 AM
 
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I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds the Giving Tree problematic.

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#4 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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The Lorax makes me feel sad. I'm not saying it's not an important message, it just bums me out.

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#5 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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"Love You Forever", because it reminds me of my MIL. In the creepiest way possible.
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#6 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 10:16 AM
 
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I don't like The Giving Tree.

There, I admitted it. People say it's a story of love, but it seems like some kind of dysfunctional relationship with a martyr to me. I just don't like it.

What children's books do you dislike?


I feel the exact same way about The Giving Tree. Every time I read it I think what a selfish, ungrateful, brat the person in it is.

 

I also dislike the Beatrix Potter books. My MIL loves them so my kids have multiple copies of most of them. But somehow those books get culled every time I purge the bookshelves.

 

I'm sure there's others. I know there are others.


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#7 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 10:42 AM
 
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I feel the exact same way about The Giving Tree. Every time I read it I think what a selfish, ungrateful, brat the person in it is.

I completely agree. It's my mom's favorite book, but I think it's ridiculous. I also hate "Love You Forever." It's just creepy, IMHO.

Honestly, I don't like Dr. Seuss, Dick & Jane, or anything meant to be silly, easy readers for small kids. I think they're kind of a waste of time. I mean, they're good for kids just learning to read to themselves, but if I'm going to read to the kids, there are just so many wonderful, fascinating books that will delight small children AND keep a parent's interest.

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#8 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 12:22 PM
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"Love You Forever", because it reminds me of my MIL. In the creepiest way possible.

 

Yeah, this.  Especially since MIL gifted us with the book!

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#9 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:00 PM
 
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The Rainbow Fish makes me sad that the fish had to give up who he was to fit in. 

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#10 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:05 PM
 
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I don't like The Cat in the Hat. Let a stranger into your home while your parents are gone; then consent to lie to your mother about it.

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#11 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:07 PM
 
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I can't stand Stuck by Oliver Jeffers.  I like the drawings but the story is basically about a selfish little boy who doesn't give a hoot about anyone else.

 

Oh, and just because the story has sooooo many holes...The Man in the Moon (The Guardians of Childhood) by William Joyce.  Again the graphics are great but the story is lacking so much as to be highly annoying.


(But I really love the Beatrix Potter books :) )

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#12 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:10 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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#13 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh I love Richard Scarry, but I agree about the Berenstein Bears. We had one of those books and it really worked to force a rhyme. I can't stand books that rhyme if the rhymes don't feel natural.

I think I only love Richard Scarry because those were my favorite books growing up and I have fond memories. I admit there are some issues with them, because sometimes I'll look at one and something will make me cringe a bit. Some of the stories feel dated.
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#14 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:25 PM
 
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Llama, Llama Red Pjama!  Maybe I am overly sensitive about it, but I really hate that Llama is crying for his Mama in his room and made to wait...and then sort of scolded for it.  My baby is only 5 months and I asked my MIL to stop reading that to him.  She said the book teaches "an important lesson" that he doesn't always need his mom to soothe him.  Surprised me because she is naturally pretty AP...(except for my bed sharing:) 

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#15 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yeah, where Lama Lama misses mama! I felt like the mama was trying to get off the phone as quickly as she could and not that she didn't care, but I can see your point.

Interesting to see how other people feel about books.
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#16 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:34 PM
 
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I second the Rainbow Fish. That was was culled quickly. 

 

Also can't stand the give a mouse a cookie/moose a muffin stories. Not sure why... maybe they're just not fun to read? So many great books out there, can't tolerate mediocre ones.

 

Love Beatrix Potter (but I'm a biologist so I love the predator-prey depictions, ahem).

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#17 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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Giving Tree has my vote too.... selfish. I don't care if it is analogous of nature it's a scary message to read to kids.... give until you are gone? Take until and never feel good? I'd rather a positive ending book in that way. (Possibly Shel was sending parents a message so it's not intended for kids) while I love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I'm cold on Matilda and James and the Giant Peach where my kids are concerned. Somehow the negatives there left me feeling as if I was telling my kids not to trust .... I prefer messages of perseverance that are not so negative?
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#18 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:45 PM
 
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Fireflyx mentioned Man in the Moon by William Joyce- I love it now that we're reading the Guardians series. The holes, I think, are meant to be lead-ins that are explained in the series.

I also found Love You Forever and Green Eggs and Ham and the Giving Tree to be unlivable. I think if a kid is older, they might be able to discuss the downside of the Giving Tree, but that is a bit nuanced for little ones. Anything that exhibits inappropriate treatment of others or generally being a nuisance will often just influence a child's behavior in an unpleasant way.

Lastly, we have a book that I wish would disappear called Tip Runs Away (I think). It's about a mouse named Tip who is way mean to his mom and generally has a nasty attitude. I cannot stand reading it.
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#19 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:52 PM
 
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"Love You Forever", because it reminds me of my MIL. In the creepiest way possible.

 

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Yeah, this.  Especially since MIL gifted us with the book!

 
Yep. MIL gifted me that book when I had my first baby, too.  It totally freaked me out.  Perhaps I will feel differently about it when my kids are grown...
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#20 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 01:59 PM
 
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I don't like any of the Grimm Fairy Tales. I bought a treasury for my youngest daughter thinking that the stories were once ones that i had enjoyed but they were all so morbid! The Ugly Duckling was lonely and sad! Hansel and Gretel was another nightmarish story; a wicked cannabils witch, a wicked step mother and a father who doesn't love his children enough to keep them! Just what every child wants to be read to before bed!
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#21 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 02:09 PM
 
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I can't stand the books "On the Day You Were Born" and "The Night You Were Born." Many moms traumatized by the birth experience also hate those books. I count myself in with them but also don't like the inflated sense of self-worth that the books seem to promote. It also feels like I'm lying to my child. Not even Prince George got that welcome like the books describe. I got the difference between figurative and literal and those books are way too figurative for me...
 

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#22 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 02:18 PM
 
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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!

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#23 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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I don't like the dinosaur books, can't think of the exact names but its a series like, "How does a Dinosaur go to Bed" and stuff like that. My kid can go to bed any damn way he wants and we don't need dinosaurs telling us how!! Okay maybe I'm a little over board LOL!

I used to be friends with this rough looking biker dude and I will never forget his girlfriend telling me that he stumbled across "The Giving Tree" and sat down to read it. He then broke into tears!!! I really like that book.

Oh and I hate the Llama Llama books. Pushing their mainstream agenda on my child! Once again, I'm going overboard LOL.
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#24 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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Love Beatrix Potter (but I'm a biologist so I love the predator-prey depictions, ahem).

I'm actually a biologist as well. Don't know why I hate the Beatrix Potter books, but I do.

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#25 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 02:39 PM
 
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Dora books! It really doesn't help that they appeal to kids at the same age where they like to read the same book over and over.

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#26 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 02:58 PM
 
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Anything Dora or Diego is absolutely torture to read. 

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#27 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 03:28 PM
 
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Personally, the Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog books (originals) make me nuts.  Never liked them, even as a kid.  Berenstain Bears, and Critter books - oh-so-annoying!  Seuss books are fine, but I only ever read them once a day.  Disney versions of any classic fairy tales have never set foot in my house.  The Magic Tree House makes me gag - I find them quite patronizing of kids.

So, to end positively, what did I enjoy sharing with my kids?  K. Y. Craft's books, Sleeping Beauty by Mercer and Marianna Meyer, P. J. Lynch's books,  The Full Belly Bowl by Jim Aylesworth, pretty much anything by Jan Brett, Piggie Pie, Custard the Dragon, The Root Children (almost any version), any Elsa Beskow books, Wild Child, Winter Waits, Spring's Sprung.....and so many others, I could go on-and-on for pages.  So really, I don't think my children have suffered much for the books I've omitted.  :D

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#28 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 03:41 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.
 

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#29 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 04:12 PM
 
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I don't like any Seuss books. Too many made up words and nonsense. I won't let my beginner reader try to read them out loud because the words are so screwy.

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#30 of 140 Old 07-30-2013, 04:15 PM
 
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I really love "I Love You Forever."  A little weird, yes, but the mother/son love is so sweet.  I try to think of it as being more figurative than literal.

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