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08-31-2013 07:01 PM
ancoda

The one book that my kids like that gets under my skin is Sylvester and the magic pebble.  I am not even really sure why I dislike this books so much.

 

 

This is also how I see the Rainbow fish book.   

Originally Posted by earthmama4 View Post
 

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. 

 

08-25-2013 12:40 PM
Tigerchild

Sometimes I think that children's books are often a lot like the TV shows I used to love as a kid--what kids like and what you like as an adult are way different, for many different reasons.

 

For example, I loved the A-Team as a kid.  Wasn't until I caught it again on syndication or whatever as a 20something that I realized wow, it really kind of sucked.  Books can be the same way OR I "see" messages in there (either because they are there or because my mind goes there on its own) that I probably didn't as a kid.

 

I've tried to keep that in mind with my kids' reading material.  Did I love the 2.5 million same effing story every dang time Rainbow Fairies series?  Gag.  But my kid did, so I kept my mouth shut.  Did I love Junie B Jones?  Eh, not really.  So I did the same.  I find the Warriors series hohum, and I think Harry Potter is boring (sorry).  Yet, I keep my opinions to myself when it comes to stuff my kids are interested in, as I really enjoy hearing THEIR thoughts on things, primarily.  I do make myself read everything they read, however.

 

The only thing I have ever refused to read out loud to my kids are the absolutely horrific kids' star wars books (not the movie ones, which for all I know might be just as bad, but the children's fic stuff written in the 80s, after the initial series ended.) because it made me want to jump out of the second story window rather than read another page.  All jealousy of course, because jeez, if THAT can be published then I should be able to publish my own novel!!!  The kids loved them.  So again, I didn't complain to them, but did say that I didn't care for them and would prefer to read something else at our read out loud time.  (BTW, the kids were allowed to veto my read out loud choices too!)

 

Reading crap didn't affect my kids' reading abilities or spelling abilities (they're "advanced" even though they're older, and all were reading/writing early), but I think that's mostly genetics (dad and I were both the same).  I still like to read crap quite a bit (Laurel K Hamilton, mmmm) so I figure I can't really in good conscience get on my kids about their not picking Awesome Literature all the time.

 

But OMG.  If your kid ever picks up the ancient Star Wars Jedi Academy or books of the 80s...RUN!!!!!!
 

08-23-2013 03:09 PM
Dela
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post


Oh my gosh, it's so hard to find good coloring books! Sometimes at a place like Target DD will ask for one, but there aren't ANY there that aren't junky character coloring books or gigantic character sticker activity books. The only place I can find decent coloring books is the art supply store, but a lot of those, while beautiful, are a little too detailed for DD. I so wish I could find just a nice, simple, old fashioned coloring book for her!

I've just found a bunch of really cool, old-fashioned coloring books from Rainbow Resource. Have to be careful if you don't want religious ones, but they do carry a good variety of secular and topical ones.

08-23-2013 07:53 AM
limabean
Quote:
Originally Posted by thursday2 View Post

I also can't stand the plethora of "marketing" books out there - if it's a character on TV, I don't want it!  Not just books; I can't even find coloring books that aren't Elmo or Dora anymore.  What happened to the generic puppies and bunnies of my childhood?

Oh my gosh, it's so hard to find good coloring books! Sometimes at a place like Target DD will ask for one, but there aren't ANY there that aren't junky character coloring books or gigantic character sticker activity books. The only place I can find decent coloring books is the art supply store, but a lot of those, while beautiful, are a little too detailed for DD. I so wish I could find just a nice, simple, old fashioned coloring book for her!
08-21-2013 06:31 AM
Catwmandu

Someone I love sent my son a book that I think is titled "I'm a boy". It's about all the things that the boy can be (very stereotypical junk) and it ends with "but for right now I am a real boy and that is good".

 

It ticks me off because my almost 4 year old son loves purple and pink, doesn't like dinosaurs, dragons, or anything scary and despite his rough and tumble self is a doll nursing loving little guy who at least at this time doesn't jive with such a book. I think my daughter drags it out on occasion just to see the expression on my face....

 

We've actually started pointed out with some other books when they were written to also explain why thinking was different. For instance she was reading "Baby Animals - A golden book" and got 3/4 way through and stopped and looked at me. Mom why are pretty much all the animals in this book boys? Another instance was a Richard Scarry book the other day that we were reading that showed the class being checked by the doctor. I think they each took off their shirts. 

08-20-2013 11:58 PM
thursday2

I can't stand the "new" Curious George books - DH had the originals as a child, and we saw a whole collection for sale at Costco, so we bought it, not realizing they were modern versions.  Awful!!  Every story is: Curious George disobeys a direct instruction, generally given for his safety or the safety of others; things go horribly, dangerously wrong; coincidentally, whilst freaking out about whatever went so horribly wrong, George manages to accidentally save the day; everyone is super duper grateful to George and thanks him for being so curious.  Argh!  And they're SO politically correct.  I don't mind raising my children in a world of ideals, but don't beat me over the head with it at every turn.

 

A friend gave us "Do Cows Eat Cake?" for a birthday gift, and it irritates me to no end that my son loves it - it's the dumbest book I've ever read, and basically ends with, "Yup, kids eat crap.  Hooray!"  We keep hiding it to drop at Goodwill, and he keeps finding it.

 

I also can't stand the plethora of "marketing" books out there - if it's a character on TV, I don't want it!  Not just books; I can't even find coloring books that aren't Elmo or Dora anymore.  What happened to the generic puppies and bunnies of my childhood?!

 

Aaaaahhhh.  I feel better now.  =D

08-18-2013 03:31 AM
crunchymama19

Barbie books and Dora the Explorer books! I never waste money on them but the grandparents buy them and I think it's to torture me. The plots are awful, the writing could be better done by my three year old, and it is just flat out painful to read. I swear that the authors get to the end, realize they have nothing resolved and make up something stupid about forgiveness or friendship on the last page to try and end it. Horrendous. It's such an obvious shameless plug to get kids to buy more toys and videos.

08-15-2013 01:05 PM
lovemylab Disney books are horrible. I love you forever is creepy! Hate the wheels on the bus book.
08-15-2013 09:48 AM
Catwmandu

I've gotten better about reading things anyway and just having the talk with my children about why said story / POV is wrong or outdated.

 

Just last night my 5 yeay old was reading Little House and the mom in the book was eating something for supper because "mama would never think to upset a stranger". My daughter and I immediately stopped and I looked at her and we talked about how old fashioned that thinking was. That to make yourself miserable at the expense of others is wrong and that there are ways to be inclusive while ensuring that all people involved are as happy as they can be.

 

Same with the Giving Tree. Every time I read it the kids see me crying and we talk about how nature is there for us and that we need to appreciate it and not just take from it.

 

I do get annoyed with books with old fashioned ideas or that is gender devisive but try my best to use them as tools instead.

08-15-2013 06:06 AM
IdentityCrisisMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

I thought of a genre of children's books that I usually dislike. The "BigName Celebrity Author" picture book. The books that are "written" by a rock star or movie star and get published just because they will sell, not because there is any actual merit to the story or the quality of the writing. There are so many talented writers who cannot get published. It such a shame that sub-par books are marketed rather than beautifully written stories by new but unknown authors. 

I agree with you on this but never fully realized what it was about these books that I don't like. They're rarely good and are gifted like crazy and, yes, rather than someone giving your their favorite book, or a book they think your kids will love, the gift is celebrity driven. Then they hog space on our bookshelves because they were a gift. Very good point, OOF. 

08-15-2013 05:48 AM
ollyoxenfree

I thought of a genre of children's books that I usually dislike. The "BigName Celebrity Author" picture book. The books that are "written" by a rock star or movie star and get published just because they will sell, not because there is any actual merit to the story or the quality of the writing. There are so many talented writers who cannot get published. It such a shame that sub-par books are marketed rather than beautifully written stories by new but unknown authors. 

08-15-2013 05:43 AM
ollyoxenfree

Hm, I went away early in the life of this thread and only just finished reading it. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurucha View Post

"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!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mummoth View Post

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.

 

So, I'm wondering about the best way to warn my potential future daughters/sons-in-law, since I do love this book and it has never freaked out my dc and possibly their apparent independence, confidence and early maturity would hide any unhealthy development from future partners. I'm trying to decide whether to leave it casually out on the coffee table. Or perhaps frame it and put it up as wall art. Seems a little too obvious though. I think I'll just leave it on the shelf  wink1.gif

08-08-2013 10:56 AM
barefootmama0709

We love Boynton's "The Going-To-Bed Book". So fun, cute rhymes.

08-08-2013 10:52 AM
barefootmama0709

My late son used to get REALLY MAD about the "digger" page because they didn't say "excavator". I didn't like it much either-"digger" is not a machine.

08-07-2013 06:02 AM
IdentityCrisisMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCapucine View Post
. A beautifully illustrated, beautifully told story is with you for life...see 'When the sky is like lace' 

Oh, we (I) LOVE that book!!  luxlove.gif

08-06-2013 07:50 PM
LittleCapucine I loathe 'Tough Boris'. It often pops up in reading hours or library theme packs I check out, but WHY?? A mean pirate's parrot dies and an unloved ship boy plays a sad song on his violin for the parrot. It's one of those where you are reading along and realize it's a weird, weird book and scramble to change it. I find all the Eric Carle books really dull. Ditto that 'Honey Bunny' and 'To the moon and back' pair, sappy to me. I dislike any book where the illustrations are done by computer. I dislike those commercial-character supermarket books that read like lead. I dislike books with clunky rhymes, like 'The seven little postmen' (I love that book, so it's an exception, we still have it.) i avoid books all about bedtime issues I don't want, like kids who won't go to sleep or monsters or whatever, no thanks! The Magic Treehouse and god, those Tinkerbell chapter books! Gag! It's drudgery to read them.

I love books very much. I will not give space to anything churned out, I think the publishers should be ashamed. A beautifully illustrated, beautifully told story is with you for life...see 'When the sky is like lace' and 'The maggie b'. (I am choosy on Beatrix Potter, yes to Miss Tittlemouse and Miss Tiggy Winkle, no to Squirrel Nutkin.)
08-06-2013 07:04 PM
babymommy2

I really think kids and adults take something different from books. I've bought some books that as a child I loved and as an adult I think Yikes!!  I loved berestain bears as a kid, but as an adult I shorten/alter the words. I hate beatrix potter and curious George, any liscensed character books.  I have to agree that I hate to read magic school bus, for the same reason posted above. But I am surprised how many people hate I love you forever! I love that book! One of my children absolutely loves it! I think he finds It comforting that the mom is always close by. This is my child who wants to live with me forever and becomes distressed if it ever comes up how people move out of their parents home when they grow up, he asks if he can stay when he is a grown up.

08-06-2013 04:51 PM
Backroads

Fiction that is too educational. 

08-06-2013 02:34 PM
fayebond
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

Awwwww.... we love More More More Said the Baby!  Though I admit to hiding it on some days when I didn't feel like reading it.  See, we would act it out. 

I like the acting out idea, I just can't see to read it from any kind of distance.  :) I like the story, I've even considered pirating the basic theme for a photobook (just for us, with his romanian Jewish gramma and my mom and his adopted mom as the main people).  One with black text on white or at least pastel backgrounds, lol.  Its so fun to play but the words are way too long for my little ones.  We need 2-4 lines per two page spread :)

08-06-2013 08:19 AM
SweetSilver
Quote:
Originally Posted by fayebond View Post

More More More (seriously, what drug induced moron decided to write the words in technicolor tie-dye over brightly colored backgrounds?)

 

Awwwww.... we love More More More Said the Baby!  Though I admit to hiding it on some days when I didn't feel like reading it.  See, we would act it out.  So much fun, but with 2 little girls each wanting turns it could be exhausting.  Turned around sour moods every time, though. 

08-05-2013 10:21 PM
fayebond
Quote:
Originally Posted by zwickya View Post

 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.

 

Ditto!  That book always bugs me. My list...

 

The Cat in The Hat (seriously, what would you do if your mother asked you? TELL HER EVERY FREAKING THING).

When You Give A Moose A Muffin (um, it will run you over and flip you around with its antlers.  Then smash everything while your mother calls 911 and animal control, in that order)

More More More (seriously, what drug induced moron decided to write the words in technicolor tie-dye over brightly colored backgrounds?)

Curious George (_______ runs away and makes a mess and does dangerous things and everyone goes, oh, good little monkey! If you weren't dead 50 times over .... twerp!)

Anyhing Beatrix Potter That Is Not Peter Rabbit (those are creeeeeeeepy)

All Original Grimms Fairy Tales (see above)

 

There are several books we own that I realllllllllllllllly just want to take a marker to and edit to read better.  

08-05-2013 04:46 PM
ColoradoMama626 I'm just happy I am not the only one! When I told my MIL how much I didn't like the runaway bunny she thought I was crazy and my refusal to read some princess fairy tales drives everyone crazy. I am all for my daughter reading what she wants but why full my house with books I think are ridiculous.

Some books are just annoying to me like skippy Jon jones but others just should not be read to young children!
08-05-2013 02:40 PM
Smokering

Ooh, I just remembered another one. The Magic Faraway Tree books.

 

I have mixed feelings about them, because I loved Enid Blyton as a kid (and yet went on to read decent books, although it did mess with my perception of the wonderfulness of boarding school for several years). A friend gave DD the first two Faraway Tree books for Christmas, painstakingly sourced off the internet, and she loves them. There's definitely something about them which appeals to kids.

 

But oh my word, the writing style! It's atrocious. She writes in the most anticlimactic way possible - X says "I have a plan! Let's do A, B and C", and then they do A, B and C without hindrance or twist, and it's deadly boring because you've just read about it and she's basically repeating herself. And the children have no apparent character differences I can determine - we're halfway through the second book and if I had to point out which kid was which, I couldn't. Not to mention that many of the plots involve the children accidentally stealing something, destroying someone else's property, etc, and then figuring out a way to escape without repercussions - but it's OK because the creatures chasing them are "cross" or ugly and therefore deserve whatever they get.

 

And the constant, awful repetition. Yes, they eat Pop Biscuits and Google Buns. Every chapter. Silky has beautiful hair. We know. Jo (or someone) suggests not going back up the Faraway Tree because they always get into trouble, and then they decide to go anyway. Again. Drives me crackers.

 

Quote:
I also tend to dislike modern morality tales about Uniqueness.  Or really, any tale that is heavy on morality and short on actual storyline.

This is partly why I love Pixar's The Incredibles. I love how it says that actually, some people are more talented/unique than others. From a modern children's-literature perspective, that's heresy.

 

"Everyone's special, Dash."

"That's just another way of saying no-one is."

08-05-2013 10:52 AM
erigeron

I don't like most books derived from TV shows (someone gave us a whole ton that her kids had outgrown, and I've already exiled several). Also hate anything with a long storyline where characters do really stupid things. I put We're Going On A Bear Hunt and Curious George Goes Fishing in exile for that reason. I'm not a big fan of the Brown Bear series, but I felt a little better about them when she started identifying the animals and the colors. Also, my grandparents just gave us Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus and Don't Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late, which they got as freebies... I think the pigeon is really obnoxious and I'm looking forward to exiling those.

 

I don't have Love You Forever, but I don't mind it. Mom sneaking into her son's house is weird to adults, but I think to kids it is probably comforting to know that Mom is always there for them. My parents read it to me as a kid and I never had a problem with that element. 

08-05-2013 08:47 AM
SweetSilver
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyamber View Post

OMG! I love the Boynton books,they are hilarious in our household. Isn't it funny how things ring true for some and not others??

So true!  My family happens to love SkippyJon Jones, a perennial on these kinds of lists.  And we adored Richard Scarry, and like Smokering, my girls loved Samuel Whiskers and the Roly-Poly Pudding**, creepy as it is.  My girls also love some things I don't.  I really did not like the Familiars--a fantasy chapter book and it's sequel-- but only because it seems amateurish and the illustrations we mostly remedial.  They loved it, however.  They also like to read Biscuit and its sequels (arg!  one more Ruff!  Ruff!  or whatever and I'm going to commit myself!)  Conversely, I happen to love the Giving Tree, but my girls hate it.  

 

I also tend to dislike modern morality tales about Uniqueness.  Or really, any tale that is heavy on morality and short on actual storyline.  

 

The traditional tale form that irritates me is "I want some ________."  "Go get me a ______ and I'll give you the _______."  Then the story continues ad nauseum until some inexplicably generous thing hands over the object without reciprocation and then back up the line to the first person or animal, then the protagonist finally gets ________.  The only rendition of this I've liked is The Scarecrow's Hat, which works perhaps because it cuts the story in half!

 

** The Roly-Poly Pudding is a kitten rolled up in bread dough pinched from the kitchen and baked in the chimney!

08-04-2013 11:15 PM
tracyamber

I dislike any of the Baby Einstein books..lol

08-04-2013 11:14 PM
tracyamber
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjanerobb View Post

Sandra Boynton books! 

The only one I've liked so far is "Barnyard Dance,"  which I actually liked quite a bit because of the fun rhythm of the text.  I can almost sing it :)

 

So far all her other books are pointless drivel with terrible illustrations at best and often have themes I don't want to reinforce by reading to my child. I especially dislike "Belly Button Book." 

Sadly, even "Barnyard Dance" has the terrible illustrations where the mouse looks almost identical to the dog :/


 

OMG! I love the Boynton books,they are hilarious in our household. Isn't it funny how things ring true for some and not others??

08-04-2013 06:25 PM
Viola

I don't like the Magic Treehouse books, and I was never a big fan of Eloise.  And the Felicia Numeroff books have annoyed me too, but I don't hate them.

08-04-2013 05:50 PM
Smokering

I found Richard Scarry creepy as a child - no idea why, I haven't read 'em since. I found Beatrix Potter creepy too, especially The Tale of Samuel Whiskers (in which the rats capture a kitten and try to cook him into a dumpling). I love her books now, though, and DD (who's far less sensitive and scared than I was as a kid, and revels in the grotesque) loves them too. She's also keen on fairy tales, and the gorier the better. I tell them to her orally rather than reading them, and I guess I do censor/alter them to some degree - I don't mind the witch in Hansel and Gretel being popped in the fire, but I do change the bits where their father lets the stepmother get rid of them, to give him a bit more of an excuse and also to point out that he shouldn't have done it.

 

I agree with PPs about The Giving Tree, I'll Love You For Always, Disney books and rhyming books that don't scan! Seriously, if a book is only twelve pages long you have no excuse for forced rhymes or lines that don't flow.

 

DD brought out another one this morning that I loathe. It's Every Little Girl is a Princess, or something along those lines. It's a heavy-handed, moralistic tale about a girl who wants to be a princess, and finds a magic book under her pillow that gives her instructions for becoming one. She has to acquire the Five Princess Virtues - I can't remember all of them, but there was Friendship and Belief in Yourself, yadda yadda. So she does that and of course, finds out that she was a princess inside! all! along!

 

It's hideous. I was actually sent it, when I was writing an article about princess play; the idea was to promote it as a wholesome alternative to Disney or whatever, but I just couldn't do it. It was hideous. For a start, belief in yourself isn't a virtue - it's a handy thing to have in life, no more - and it's definitely not something unique to, nor even particularly relevant to, princesses. And so on. Gack. Pappy rubbish. I'm getting mad just thinking about it. (Fortunately, my editor agreed and let me leave it out of the article, though she didn't let me use it as an example of bad princess literature!)

 

Hate the new Fancy Nancy books too, because I remember the original and it was a decent book.

08-04-2013 05:04 PM
Katie8681
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

Have you read Snuggle Puppy? That's one of our favorites.

Snuggle Puppy is huge in my house.
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