Children's Books I hate! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I LOVE kids books, but some of them have storylines I don't agree with.

Green Eggs and Ham - You get pestered to do something you don't want to do until you give in. Especially when this is a message about food - You might not be hungry, or in the mood for eggs but I'm pestering you to eat them anyway. Not a good way to teach kids to stick up for themselves or to listen to their bodies about food.

Curious George - ok, I've only read the one book, but they tricked and kidnapped a monkey. Need I say more. They also threw the man with the yellow hat out on the street because he had a pet (out on the street seems harsh). They threw the monkey in jail becasue he called a wrong number - the fire dept. (also harsh punishment).

Heros - There might be more to the title. It's Sesame Street. Man jumps out of car "My wife is having a baby" (see tired, meek looking woman in background) (next page) doctor: "Congratulations, sir, you have twins!" "wa wa" coming from another room. Man looks relieved. I don't like it because the woman is not even part of the birth story. Birth is portrayed as a medical emergency.

anyone have any others?? I could go on forever!

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#2 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 02:26 PM
 
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rainbow fish.

the other fish pressure the rainbow fish into sharing his scales.
i don't appreciate the entitlement angle at all.
honestly, why *should* the rainbow fish remove the scales he was born with and give them away just to make the other fish happy?
why can't the other fish just be content with their own scales?

talk about political indoctorination.
went right into the trash at our house.

DS 6 DD 8
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#3 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 02:36 PM
 
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Love You Forever. The big guy in his mother's lap just creeps me out.

Nichole
wife to Sasha, mom to Marlena, nursed for 3.5 years, aunt to 3 adorable nephews
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#4 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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: The mom in I love you forever needs to cut the apron strings and let her son grow up. I really hate that book, it is just creepy.

Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. - Linus
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#5 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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So what do you do with the books you hate?? They usually get "lost" behind dd's bed . I don't want to give them away (so other kids get these messages), or throw them away (a hang-up I have about books), so I hide them. I suppose the good-mom thing to do would be to talk about the story with dd, and discuss the messages. Maybe now that she's getting older that would be appropriate.

While I am ranting (and off topic), there's this commercial on TV that makes me want to yell. A guy and girl are sitting on a park bench. He is eating something, and offers her some. She thinks in her head that she followed her diet that morning, but skipped her workout etc. and decided that it was ok (ie. she deserved, like the food was a reward for being good) to have a snack. My question is WHY DIDN'T SHE THINK ABOUT IF SHE WAS HUNGRY OR NOT???????? Oh, that makes me so fuming mad. :

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#6 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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Julius by that guy who wrote Danny and the Dinosaur. THey are in Africa (cue picture of stereotypical looking natives) looking for a gorilla for the circus. All the other animals are jealous. Gorilla begs to go with them and talks about how much he loves the circus. That one went back to the library right away.

I agree with you about Green Eggs and Ham and the first Curious George. (Although my dd loves Curious George. I refuse to read her the first one, although someone gave it to her on audiobook.) Rainbow Fish is annoying, too, for same reason.

Runaway Bunny. "If you turn into a boat, I will become the wind and blow you where I want you to go." Talk about uber controlling. Eek!
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#7 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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Curious George, for reasons stated above.
The Little Engine that Could (original version by Watty Piper). So, so dull. Plus, what's the deal with all the "good little boys and girls." Don't the mean ones deserve toys and good food to eat too? Maybe it's their diets that's making them so nasty.
The books that have famous artists' paintings for illustratins (In the Garden with Van Gogh, for example...Sharing with Renoir is another). The rhymes are forced and hard to read.
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#8 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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The Giving Tree

The (female) tree gives EVERYTHING, including her entire body (thus life) to the man, who still isn't happy (it's not enough for him). And then he SITS ON HER at the end, and she is happy.

Gag. I read this again as an adult and was like, omg, my kids are not reading this!

"MY best interest?...How can YOU say what MY best interest is?...When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities."-ST
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#9 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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i'm with ya on the love you forever...i am creeped out by it and dh changes the words...ds was asking for it a lot...gift from gram.

i never thought of the giving tree like that...

i love this.
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#10 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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Yep, THE GIVING TREE is a big one for me. I remember reading it as a child and wondering how I was supposed to feel about the characters. I would not choose that one for my son--there are so many, better options to teach generosity, kindness and (reasonable) selflessness!

Juliette
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#11 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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The interpretations of books in these "what books do you hate" threads are always so literal. :
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#12 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 04:28 PM
 
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"The Not So Wicked Step Mother" I bought this book when I was meeting my BF's 10 year old daughter for the first time, just to see what was out there. I got if from Amazon, so I didn't know the content beforehand.

It stunk. The daughters were very mean to the first 2 girls that the dad dated, and talked badly of one GF because she wanted to kiss the dad. Then the dad meets the "right" girl who is apparently a nun and has no interest in kissing the dad.

It lived under my couch for a while, and then went out to the recycling bin.

Thankfully, my BF's daughter liked me right away (although she didn't like to see us kiss ), and even suggested that "we could go to the high school track and I could ride my bike and you guys could hold hands and talk" as one of our first group dates together.
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#13 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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re: green eggs and ham - the message we take away from that (and the one we discuss with DD everytime we read it) is that sometimes you think you're not going to like something just because of the way it looks, but then if you try it you might be surprised to discover that you really do like it.

the vast majority of sibling preparation books make me nuts. between the "mommy's going to leave to go to the hospital" and "daddy's going to give the baby a bottle" and pictures of cribs, bouncy seats, disposible diapers and the like i was appalled to find that there were only like two books i found on the subject that i could even modify for my DD.

we mostly get books from the library to test drive them before we consider buying, and i'm a nut and usually tell my family what books to buy so they don't end up with a bunch of duplicate titles or images i don't like, so we don't have any in our house that i have issues with.
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#14 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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I don't hate it, but Is Your Mama a Llama? annoys me, mostly because of the kangaroo illustrations. The mama kangaroo's legs and feet are drawn all wrong.

A book I hated so much I got rid of it was Mortimer by Robert Munsch. Nothing but unpleasantness all the way through.

I think it's weird how many people think the mother in Runaway Bunny is too controlling. (It's been mentioned before in threads like this.) It's about a little bunny, not a bunny who's grown up and ready to get his own apartment. If you were a little kid thinking about running away, would you want your mom to just shrug and say, "Okay, bye, it was nice knowing you?" If your 3 year old did run away, wouldn't you search the world and do whatever it took to find her again?
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#15 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 06:16 PM
 
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There aren't any i HATE at the moment...

BUT - I never understood the appeal of...

Goodnight Moon
Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Olivia
Moo-Baa-La-La
Goodnight Gorilla

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#16 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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there are many kids books that irk me...
but we usually read them anyways and then talk about what irks me about them. If I stopped reading all the books I didn't like we'd run out of selection. Like pixie, we use the library so we can sample new ones from time to time.

We do however have a pile of disney books that folks endlessly give to us. I talked with dd about it and expained what I liked and didn't like in a good book and we decided that there might be some families that would like them and we should get them together and pass them on. She got it and even helped pick a few out that weren't quite something we were into.

Funny side note - she put a book in this pile the other day because the little girl was eating sugar too much. she thought she should read something where kids were eating healthy food (unless it was someone's birthday!)

And I love green eggs and ham...always have!

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#17 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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I have a BA and an MS in English education so it is very hard for me to say that I "hate" any book but one of the worst we have come across for our DD has been Goldie is Mad by Margie Palatini. Here is the review I left on Amazon...
Quote:
This book was in an "emotions themed" pack sold by Scholastic. The other two books, Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day and The Way I Feel were great. Goldie is Mad however will not be read a second time in our home simply because the girl in this story can not navigate her anger in any other way but to say that she "hates" her little brother. I know that my preschooler has used this word in the past however when the issue came up we discussed how we should not "hate" anyone or anything and thus she needed to find a new way to express her frustration. When reading this book for the first time we came to the page which states that "Veronica hates baby spit. I hate baby spit. I hate Nicholas!," my preschooler gasped and said "That is not a nice way to talk about your brother, is it Mom?" Simply stated, we will not be keeping a book in our house which endorses the concept of hate.
I have a very hard time parting with books, even the bad ones, however this one went straight into the trash.
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#18 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
There aren't any i HATE at the moment...

BUT - I never understood the appeal of...

Goodnight Moon
Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Olivia
Moo-Baa-La-La
Goodnight Gorilla
I don't understand the appeal of Goodnight Moon either, but toddlers LOVE LOVE LOVE it, so it stays in our house. Sometimes it doesn't have to make sense to be a good book.

g.

Canadian mama to A (C/S May 2004) and R (induced VBAC Dec 2007) expecting #3 in July.  Currently obsessing over permaculture, photography and beekeeping.

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#19 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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Anything published by Disney. Alas, SILs (two of them, one on each side) are REALLY into them. We have dozens of debased Winnie the Pooh stories, that, alas, Dd loves. They've taken the Pooh characters, trivialized them, put them into these sickeningly sweet stories that always have a "proper moral" at the end.

I may teach dd to read just so that I don't have to read these books!'

I agree about Curious George -- I got the original out of the library because my kids got some of the more modern ones for Christmas. I was stunned at my reaction -- I just kept thinking "But he's an endangered species! And you (the Man with the Yellow Hat) STOLE him from the jungle. Bad man. It is NOT nicer to live in the Zoo." We're not going to buy the original. The more modern ones aren't so bad.

And there are a dozen and one truck books that I hate. Mostly because the writing is sooo bad. They don't even bother to try to make a coherent description.

As to the appeal of some books:
Goodnight Moon -- very repetitive and soothing.

Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom -- has great rhythm and is actually a good 'musical' book. And it makes my kids laugh.

Moo-Baa-La-La -- makes my kids laugh. It's not my favorite Boynton book by far, but if you give it good vocals, it's not bad.

Goodnight Gorilla - makes ME smile. I don't know why, but I LIKE this story. I just love the pictures of all those animals following the zookeeper.

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#20 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 07:12 PM
 
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The one book that I dislike ( not because Ive had to read it OVER & OVER that catagory of dislike is different) is the Usborn touchy-feely book "That's not my tractor" Is " squashy" a word? Nathan chewed the binding so Ihave an excuse to toss the darn thing

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#21 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 07:19 PM
 
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I got around the Curious George thing by teaching my children that the man in the yellow hat is a poacher. Poachers are not doing good things.

I can not stand Good Night Gorilla. My kids loved it when they were little. I would rather pull my finger nails off then read that book.

Love you Forever. I just love that one. My ds thinks it cool that mom loves her son so much she is willing to break into the house rather then use the house key that he is sure the son must have given her.

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#22 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 07:26 PM
 
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I thought of another one I hate - No David. I read it to my class of 5 year olds once and their response was "Why doesn't the mommie say anything but No?" I see no point to this book and also didn't like this illustrations.
Oh, for some reason I remember disliking Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, but I can't remember why.

Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. - Linus
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#23 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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I thought of another one I hate - No David. I read it to my class of 5 year olds once and their response was "Why doesn't the mommie say anything but No?" I see no point to this book and also didn't like this illustrations.
Oh, for some reason I remember disliking Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, but I can't remember why.
Ah yes! The NO David books! I always felt weird reading those! It just felt wrong to be saying NO like that, over and over again...Of course, they were my son's favorites for awhile.

Molly, mama to my 3 sweet boys.
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#24 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 07:29 PM
 
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I can't stand Olivia! She's so annoying and --while I hate the word, I'll use it -- bratty. I worked for the organization that gives children's book awards, and knocking Olivia there was like saying you don't believe in apple pie or grandmothers, but yuck. I don't like her.

I also think the Giving Tree was a martyr and bad example. Feh.

One that surprised me and that I was sad to put away was Rhinoceros Tap by Sandra Boynton. It's a book of songs that comes with a CD. We had another book like this by her called Philadelphia Chickens, and it was great, but this one has the most AWFUL song on it called, of all things: "Bad Babies." The lyrics include such lines as "they whine and they bite...they make the most terrible noise." Nice. I really want my older daughter singing that with her new baby sister in the house...NOT.
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#25 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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I just can't get the message of 'The Giving Tree' or 'The Rainbow Fish'. Nothing good comes to mind anyway...
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#26 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 08:34 PM
 
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I love No, David. I think sometimes kids do feel like all they hear is "no."
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#27 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
There aren't any i HATE at the moment...

BUT - I never understood the appeal of...

Goodnight Moon
Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Olivia
Moo-Baa-La-La
Goodnight Gorilla
I love Goodnight Moon! It's simple and soothing, but with enough slightly quirky or unexpected bits to make it interesting. How can anyone not love "Goodnight nobody?"

The sound and rhythm are the appeal in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. It's really fun to read aloud.

Something about the illustrations in Goodnight Gorilla really appealed to my DD when she was little, so I can see why it's popular. (It's more interesting once you know to look for the balloon on every page.)
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#28 of 236 Old 02-06-2007, 10:31 PM
 
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I HATE HATE HATE, the Winne the Pooh goes to the Doctor book. Christopher Robin takes him for an annual check up and at the end Pooh gets a shot to keep him healthy so he doesnt get mumps and measles (bumps and weasles as Pooh says or something..)Anyways, it annoys the heck outta me!
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#29 of 236 Old 02-07-2007, 12:42 AM
 
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Goodnight Moon...ugh! Why is this considered mandatory reading to your kids? (Well, not mandatory, but everyone seems to have a copy). It doesn't totally rhyme, and I find the illustrations creepy...but that's just me
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#30 of 236 Old 02-07-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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This is obviously for slightly older readers, but I cannot stand the Junie B. Jones books for all the deliberate misspellings. Dd saw one and asked why the writer made Junie so "not smart." Awful.
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