Children’s Books That Make Me Cringe

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{31 Days of Reading Well: Day 20}

I’m feeling a little bit snarky tonight, so I am going to tell you about some children’s books I don’t love. There are so many wonderful books for kids … but some of them are just off! Even books I loved as a child I now wonder what on earth my parents were thinking when they purchased these gems.

The Piggy in the Puddle was a favorite of mine – a Weekly Reader copy. (Anyone else remember Weekly Reader?) I seriously loved this book enough that I hung onto my copy (or, well, my parents did) until I had my own child to read it to. We read it about three times, enough for me to get upset that that stinking piggy in the bonnet is rude to her parents, disobedient, and uses words I don’t want my kids to use! It went to Goodwill. Sorry, pig.

I know this might be slightly controversial, but I kind of hate the book God Gave Us You. I have absolutely zero problems with the text of the book, really. My issue is the animals. THEY ARE POLAR BEARS THAT GO GET ULTRASOUNDS AT THE HOSPITAL. But they also hang out in the woods with fish and stuff. I am OK with animals that act like humans. Or animals that act like animals. But these hybrid polar bears freak me out. Sorry.

I’m really sorry if I’m breaking anyone’s heart, but I go to great lengths to AVOID reading The Little Engine That Could. It is a boring book with a whole lot of words, and it is deceptively long. Yes, it has a great moral lesson or whatever. But we can learn that “we can” from a better book. (Also, Mr. V noticed the other night that the book is also sexist: the evil trains are all “he” and the good ones are “she.”)

I don’t reeeeallly hate Fox in Socks … but I do think Dr. Seuss probably had a good laugh picturing parents trying to read all these tongue-twisters in a cheerful, good-night book voice. Now I know why we didn’t have this book when I was a kid. And why it was in Goodwill in the first place. That parent was wiser than I.

Which kids’ books do you secretly (or not-so-secretly) hate?

Since Jill has a sense of humor, I’m linking up these books I DON’T love to her Things I Love Thursday carnival.

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11 thoughts on “Children’s Books That Make Me Cringe

  1. I have hidden our collection of Curious George before. The man in the yellow hat is totally negligent and the books are so formulaic. They drive me nuts!

  2. I don't like Berenstein Bears. I find the role that the mom is in to always be so problematic and one dimensional. Also, she only gets to wear a house dress. Just sayin'.

    But I LOVE Fox in Socks! Probably more than Darah does. I like the challenge! 🙂

  3. Haha! Hello there all…I'm new here, but as an avid reader growing up and someone who now reads all sorts of books to my kids I had to say "hello"!

    Awwww….the Little Engine that Could!!! And I like the Bernstein Bears…I often go find one when my girls are fighting, or not sharing, or not giving!!! LOL (there is always a Bernstein Bears solution!!!)

    I haven't hidden books (yet!!) but I do skip over words!!! Or "paraphrase" pages sometimes!!!

  4. Generally speaking, I dislike reading popular character stories– think Dora, Disney princesses, Transformers, etc, etc. Don't get me wrong– I've read them, and will continue to, because my children have all gone through phases of loving certain characters. But I don't like how there never seems to be much STORY to it… it feels like someone threw a few sentences out there and is just relying on the popularity of said character to sell it. (Which, I do realize, is precisely what's happening. But, as a Literature major, it's not fun for me. ;))

  5. Love this post, Jessie! Funny and true!

    I'm not a fan of "Love You Forever." I can't imagine reading that to a little child…it's incredibly sad and from what I remember (it's been a while since I've read it) there are a few suggestions in it that I wouldn't want to teach my children.

  6. I out right refuse to read Berenstein Bears. So moralizing and (this is worse at bedtime) so wordy.

    Dislike all the Disney tie-in books although we do own a few. I will not read all those Thomas the Tank Engine books to my nephew. So, so boring.

    I'm sure there are more but those are the first that come to mind. Fun list!

  7. I hide Jan Brett's Goldilocks & the Three Bears. It's a tedious, tedious read. I much prefer the Little Golden Book version.

  8. I wanted to mention the Berenstain Bears but I see some commenters already did. I don't like that they always making Papa the fool. As the Bible says, we are supposed to honor and respect the husband/dad as he is the head of our household. I always feel like mama takes control and I really have to pick and choose what stories of their's I will read.

  9. I’m with Christine up there… here’s is my issue with “I’ll love you forever” (and I totally inherited this issue from my mom!) It’s the end of the rhyme. “As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” WRONG! You won’t stop being my baby when I’m no longer here. Even if I’m no longer living, you’ll still be my baby. I’ll just have the joy of watching you and waiting for you with your Heavenly Father.

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