kids' books - SEARCH and DESTROY

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed


* The Little House. OK the art is beyond beautiful, but has there ever been a bigger piece of anti-urban propaganda ever created in the history of humankind?? It's like Tolkien's fear of industrialization times a million. I can't remember the wording exactly, but the last page says of the Little House: "Never again would she dream of the lights of the city... Never again would she want to leave her little hill..."

And uh, by the way, if a giant conurbation just happened to have a beautiful old clapboard house sitting right in the middle of it with its own yard it wouldn't be left to go to seed, it would be snapped up by buy-to-letters, have a new kitchen installed, and sold on for half a million.

* The Polar Express. We are to believe that the narrator is so special, so genuinely pure of heart, that the special bell from Santa continues to make its sound for him as long as he lives. Because he "truly believes". There's a word for adults who believe in Santa. Well, two words. "Mentally ill." WTF with this book. Again, the illustrations are gorgeous. But I will quibble slightly: it is very important for little kids to be able to SEE things on the page as they are described. Because they can't read. So when the page comes that talks about the bells on the reindeer's harnesses, there are no bells pictured! And quite a bit more text to get through before the page can be turned. So the reader is left fighting to try to get out the rest of the text over the cries of the child - "but where is the bell??? Where are the bells daddy????" You know what, he's right. Where are the goddamn bells?

* The Very Hungry Caterpillar. OK this is maybe not fair exactly. Because it is great. BUT: turn to the page where the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. His wings are clearly on upside down!! WTH??? How can this obvious mistake have been permitted to stand for decades, much less the first time around? Also points off for merchandising the fuck out of this book. I'm surprised there's not a movie of this starring Jim Carrey.


* Everything by Dr. Seuss. Still the best.

* Hand, Hand, Fingers Thumb. Subliminal communism at its best!

* Are You There, Baby Bear? I'd never heard of this before, and it's very good. Little touches you don't notice the first time around.


TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 14 October 2011 16:51 (ten years ago) link

Dr. Seuss is a beast to read out loud. And avoid the newer "based on the characters" books where the Cat In the Hat takes the kids on adventures to the South Pole. They're not bad, but it's not the same either.

Pleasant Plains, Friday, 14 October 2011 16:55 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, I have never been tempted. Way too many actual Seuss books to read first. He wrote a lot of them!

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 14 October 2011 16:57 (ten years ago) link

Pretty sure Polar Express gave me Santa issues. I kind of have to admire any book where the moral is being a grown-up is the worst like that.

fried chicken makes Alex cry, who'd vote for such a wimpy guy? (Abbbottt), Friday, 14 October 2011 17:04 (ten years ago) link

Seriously. The whole vibe of pure innocent kids vs the evil fallen world of adults is just so bogus.

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 14 October 2011 17:06 (ten years ago) link

And he can't resist getting a little dig in on his sister, either: "Even my sister began no longer to hear it." "[That was about when she moved in with that jerk Brad. *Fiddles with base of giant model of North Pole which blocks the door, kicks empty Chinese takeout container aside, adjusts greasy Santa hat*]"

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 14 October 2011 17:09 (ten years ago) link

This whole thread: looooooooooool

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 14 October 2011 17:13 (ten years ago) link

oh man I love Chris Van Allsburg, he's probably my favorite children's picture book author after Seuss. Ignore all the shitty movies made from his material.

the Garden of Abdul Gasazi. My mom had a huge print of this hanging at the end of our hallway when I was a kid:
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Not really a story, a collection of different pictures each with a single caption implying much larger stories. I love this kind of thing.
The Wreck of the Zephyr
The Wretched Stone

My mom was a children's librarian, so I have um lots of opinions on this subject...

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:05 (ten years ago) link

Myst of Harris Burdick is GREAT but kind of not rly a children's book imo? Not that you shouldn't give it to kids, by any means! It can do no harm and much good. I'm just not sure kids were really its primary audience.

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:07 (ten years ago) link

agree about Mysteries of Harris Burdick - maybe for kids that are on the high side of the audience 8-10 or something

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:08 (ten years ago) link

But who'm I to talk, some of my favorite illustrators are the Dillons, and Pish Posh, Said Hieronymous Bosch is almost not kid lit either.

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:09 (ten years ago) link

Nancy Willard, the auth of Pish Posh, is quite good I think. The book makes me cry now every time...AND it's gorgeous.

She flees to what appears to be her parent’s house. In the night she is awakened by some of the creatures who hid themselves in her suitcase. They beg her to look after them and the cook says, somewhat plaintively:

“They’re not what I wished for. When women are young

They want curly-haired daughters and raven-haired sons.

In this vale of tears we must take what we’re sent,

Feather, leathery, lovely, or bent.”

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:11 (ten years ago) link
^^^awesome book by 60s-70s Disney animator

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:13 (ten years ago) link

Mercer Mayer's stuff also almost uniformly solid. always thought he did great monsters.

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:13 (ten years ago) link

I first saw Mysteries of Harris Burdick and it was all I wanted to talk or think about for at least a week. My obsession had this additional layer of being in awe and in rage at the level of drawing skill. Just one more way it seemed...inhuman! Of course I loved it.

I had a similar obsession with the four weird books in one that is Black and White

David Macauley ruled my childhood.

fried chicken makes Alex cry, who'd vote for such a wimpy guy? (Abbbottt), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:14 (ten years ago) link

is Macauley's that guy with all the meticulous b&w line drawing...?

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:14 (ten years ago) link

I mean to say I first saw Harris Burdick in first grade. I was hanging out before school petting the teacher's mice and he showed it to felt like a crazy initiation. Same as in sixth grade when my science teacher had me read "The Veldt."

fried chicken makes Alex cry, who'd vote for such a wimpy guy? (Abbbottt), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:15 (ten years ago) link


WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:15 (ten years ago) link

ah yes, I had his "Castle" and a few others... there was one that featured a crazy homeless woman foreseeing the future of urban architecture ("people and stone, people and stone") which has always stuck with me


unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:16 (ten years ago) link

The Color Kittens
Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel
All of Eric Carle's fables (Aesop, Hans Christian Anderson, Bros Grimm)

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Friday, 14 October 2011 20:51 (ten years ago) link

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat!

that book is FANTASTIC!

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 14 October 2011 22:26 (ten years ago) link

the ending cracks me up - "which just goes to show you CAN make something out of nothing!" lol

I read this to my daughter in my best old eastern-european Jewish man accent

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 14 October 2011 22:51 (ten years ago) link

So Sailor Sam went on board with his pirate mother and the sea captain, and a year later someone brought Mr Fat [Sam's Dickensian boss] a green glass bottle with a letter in it.

"Having a wonderful time," the letter read. "Why don't you run off to sea, too?"

And if you want any more moral to the story than this, you must go to sea and find it.

the boomtown rats in The Wall (difficult listening hour), Friday, 14 October 2011 22:56 (ten years ago) link

new book by brian selznick called wonderstruck is great

has anybody seen my jeffrey tambourine? (remy bean), Friday, 14 October 2011 22:58 (ten years ago) link

This blog has me constantly searching for children's books everywhere I go:
I enjoyed finding them but didn't always buy them because I collect too many things already...that was my thought.
Now that there will actually be one in the house to read too, the hunt is on!

*tera, Thursday, 20 October 2011 00:35 (ten years ago) link

Search: Ian Falconer's Olivia books (avoid the TV show tie-ins), anything by Jules Feifer, Mercer Mayer seconded, Alexandra Day's mostly wordless Carl books are fun, Byron Barton's simple books like Trucks, Airport, and Planes go a long way.
Destroy: Richard Scary's Best Storybook Ever, an enormous 300 page collection that my daughter insists only counts as one story. Dora & Diego find their way into my home & my daughter's heart despite my vigilance.

Richard Scary's Best Storybook Ever, an enormous 300 page collection that my daughter insists only counts as one story.

loool I feel for you man

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 20 October 2011 09:31 (ten years ago) link

Destroy: BLUEBERRY GIRL - written by Neil Gaiman for Tori Amos's daughter and even worse than that would lead to you expect. Think I have successfully hidden down the back of the bookshelf.
Search: All the Janet and Allan Ahlberg books are great, specially PEEPO! - the illustrations are lovely. I like Lynley Dodd's HAIRY MCLARY books too. But Dr Seuss's SLEEP BOOK is the champ. The page about the unsuccessful zizzerzoof-seed salesmen getting some kip because "that's what's the wonderful nighttime is for" still brings a bit of a tear to the eye.

Stevie T, Thursday, 20 October 2011 09:54 (ten years ago) link

having just read Polar Express for the first time last night... I dunno what you all are complaining about, it's standard Xmas story silliness

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 20 October 2011 15:30 (ten years ago) link

i dig mo willems' visual er vocabulary a lot, his er storytelling

he does churn them out a bit, though; i'd like to see him maybe do a sustained narrative or something

there was a vaguely heartbreaking interview with maurice sendak in the guardian the other day, which made the rest of g2 seem even more like pure disposable shit by contrast

thomp, Thursday, 20 October 2011 15:35 (ten years ago) link


congratulations (n/a), Thursday, 20 October 2011 15:40 (ten years ago) link

recently got some book Maurice Sendak illustrated in the 80s and was shocked/appalled that it had all this bullshit about the Christ-child and St. John and various terrible things (wars, etc.) being part of "God's will". Can't fathom how any self-respecting Jew would crank out such shit.

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 20 October 2011 15:59 (ten years ago) link

Dear Milli, it's called (a Grimm fairytale, apparently?)

unorthodox economic revenge (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 20 October 2011 16:00 (ten years ago) link

it's standard Xmas story silliness

well yes, but with the MYSTIC CHILDHOOD INNOCENCE dial cranked up to 8 million

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 26 October 2011 11:10 (ten years ago) link

that looks VERY ENGLISH

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 26 October 2011 11:52 (ten years ago) link

Very, and Northern (has to be read in a yorkshire accent)

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Wednesday, 26 October 2011 11:53 (ten years ago) link

six months pass...


Do you have Robert Munsch outside of Canada? I've also come to really like Sandra Boynton's books. We go to the library all the time, so I've kind of gotten over being super choosy about what books my oldest daughter gets. She picks whichever three books she wants, and if they're awful there's a built in exit strategy so it's easier to tolerate knowing there's a finite number nights I'll have to them.

don't know robert munsch.
daughter currently loves frog & toad, and I kind of love them too.

tylerw, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 16:00 (ten years ago) link

the other one i try to encourage which she really likes is little bear
it's weird though, i guess there's a bunch more "updated" little bears, which aren't by the same people? even though it says "maurice sendak's little bear" the illustrations are totally different and kinda lame. and sendak didn't even write the original little bears, so that's stranger still.

tylerw, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 16:03 (ten years ago) link

of course she also loves these horrible things, which I am trying to secretly get rid of
they kind of make me sick to my stomach.

tylerw, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 16:04 (ten years ago) link

we go to the library pretty much every week, usually check out 5-7 picture books and it's totally unpredictable to me which one's evie will latch on to and demand to hear four times in a row and which times she'll reject completely

congratulations (n/a), Wednesday, 23 May 2012 16:07 (ten years ago) link

we're finishing our years of little kid books (youngest on the verge of turning 6) & in retrospect the ones that *I* loved reading the most to my kids were the Frances books by Russell Hoban. I think they loved them a lot too. I like Little Bear & Frog & Toad too. at one point we got a bunch of new-ish Scholastic-catalog books that were uniformly crappy. oh & I like Danny & the Dinosaur but we recently got a sequel at the library, something like Danny & the Dinosaur at Camp, & it was awful.

Euler, Wednesday, 23 May 2012 16:17 (ten years ago) link

but i think on balance it was good: a brief moment where they could pretend that they actually had control over what the hell was happening to them

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 1 July 2014 23:16 (seven years ago) link

I Love You Forever

Haha, I don't have kids but I came here to post DESTROY: I Love You Forever. I worked at a Waldenbooks in college and we couldn't keep this book in stock, it sold constantly and the people who bought it always made it a point to tell me how much they loved it while they were checking out. It's seriously the creepiest piece of shit book ever.

cwkiii, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 14:44 (seven years ago) link

so close to a solid idea for a good albeit mawkish and depressing book though. I'm not sure what the audience for that book is, I suspect it's for grandmothers.

christmas candy bar (al leong), Wednesday, 2 July 2014 14:50 (seven years ago) link

An excerpt from my favorite Amazon review of I Love You Forever:

Anyone who's had a baby in their family knows there's nothing cuter than looking at them while they're sleeping. The mother in the book knows this and sneaks into his room at night to peek at her angel, and sing her little song to him. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Only it doesn't stop there. When the boy is a teenager she CRAWLS into his room on all fours and, "If he was really asleep she picked up that great big boy and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth" while she sang her song. I don't know about you but if I was 15 and woke up in my bed with my Mom holding me like that, I'd probably scream. Who knows what kind of weird dreams this poor boy was having?

Well at least when this poor lad moves out of the house, he won't have to deal with his mother's obsessive habits anymore...or does he? Yep, once he's full grown, according to the book, "...sometimes on dark nights his mother got into her car and drove across town." YIKES! Not only is that scarier than hell that she's driving with a ladder strapped to her car in the middle of the night, but she makes a regular habit of it.

Yep, ol' Mommy climbs up his house, crawls through his window and does the same thing. Man this guy sleeps better than anyone I've ever known! Well, you can see by looking at this small single bed that he never got married. And he had such a healthy upbringing, too. It's a shame!

Though the book takes a poignant dramatic turn when he hears his mother isn't doing well and he goes to visit her. As he holds his dying mother in his lap, he turns the tables and sings the song to her. But wait a minute! I thought he was asleep during all those other times. Looks like he was playing along with this little sick little game a little too eagerly.

At this point, you feel bad for making fun of the book at all 'cause his mother has passed away. The son returns home, though, and picks up his baby girl and sings the song to her.

But from everything we've seen in the book, the guy lives alone. The only woman he ever sees at night is his Mom. Leaving the only possible mother of his child to be...OH MY GOD!!!

carl agatha, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 14:56 (seven years ago) link

Not true that "from everything we've seen in the book, the guy lives alone". In the pic where his mother calls to say she's dying he is preparing what looks like dinner for two and there are two mugs sitting on the counter.

everything, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 18:36 (seven years ago) link

I think The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the world's perfect works of literature.

'arry Goldman (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 2 July 2014 18:46 (seven years ago) link

However I cannot fucking stand Horton Hatches the Egg, which my 2-year-old sums up as "Horton Hatches the Egg. And he sat, and he sat, and he sat, and he sat, and he sat, and he sat, and he sat. The end."

'arry Goldman (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 2 July 2014 18:47 (seven years ago) link

Search This is Not My Hat, We Are In A Book, Knuffle Bunny

'arry Goldman (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 2 July 2014 18:48 (seven years ago) link

those elephant and piggie books are fun to read bc they're swift and allow for good playacting.

christmas candy bar (al leong), Wednesday, 2 July 2014 18:49 (seven years ago) link

I said it upthread but Mo Willems is insanely consistent, all his books are funny and great and there are like a thousand of them.

Immediate Follower (NA), Wednesday, 2 July 2014 19:19 (seven years ago) link

this is a good one:

christmas candy bar (al leong), Wednesday, 2 July 2014 19:22 (seven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Good Night Gorilla - LOL

Yeah, this is ace!

ornamental cabbage (James Morrison), Thursday, 17 July 2014 05:55 (seven years ago) link

four months pass...

We love Good Night Gorilla too.
The Escape of Marvin the Ape is another really good gorilla book. Beautiful & engaging art, really silly story.
Mo Willems & Jon Klassen get much respect at bedtime.

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Saturday, 13 December 2014 08:51 (seven years ago) link

three months pass...

I haven't ordered one yet, but I really like this book. Customizable!

Jeff, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 18:29 (seven years ago) link

Children’s Stories Made Horrific: Love You Forever -

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Tuesday, 24 March 2015 18:45 (seven years ago) link

Jesus, now I feel like a heel for hating this book -

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Tuesday, 24 March 2015 18:50 (seven years ago) link

Sad story. Still a bad book.

Jeff, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 18:54 (seven years ago) link

my 2 year old is obsessed with the poky little puppy, and i think it is a terrible boring book. obviously i don't tell him this and i read it to him whenever he asks, though i do admit to hiding it sometimes to get him to read other books

marcos, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 18:59 (seven years ago) link

are there any halfway decent/not terrible comic books appropriate for a 5 1/2 year old? my daughter loves batman and wonder woman, but a lot of the stuff I've picked up hasn't really been quite right. there are some kids books at the library but they aren't actually comic books.

tylerw, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 19:04 (seven years ago) link

do what I did and get a bunch of Silver Age stuff. More recent stuff is gonna hit or miss, although DC puts out decent kids comics (Superman Family Adventures, I think it's called, plus Batman Brave and the Bold although that might have ended). The book that sold my daughter on comics was, oddly, Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman when she was around 4 iirc. But Silver Age stuff is the way to go - Superman, Kirby etc.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 19:39 (seven years ago) link

I bought Ivy a graphic novelization of A Wrinkle In Time, which is too old for 5 1/2 (or 16 months for that matter) but it's out there. And I bought her the actual book when she was like two months old so I'm getting closer to age-appropriate.

What about non-super hero stuff?

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Tuesday, 24 March 2015 19:57 (seven years ago) link

Asterix + Tintin tyler

Number None, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 19:59 (seven years ago) link

we got V a Tintin book (apparently one of the crappier ones) and it was a) pretty violent and b) chock-full of ethnic stereotypes

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 20:07 (seven years ago) link

(she didn't care for it)

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 20:07 (seven years ago) link

Comic books for 5-6 year olds?

It depends what they are into I'd say that Tintin and Asterix are no good as they are for older children and yeah, really old fashioned.

Baby Mouse (19 books and counting) by Matt and Jennifer Holm
Squish (5 books and counting) also by the Holms
Johnny Boo (there's about 5 of them) by James Kochalka
Dragon Puncher/Dragon Puncher Island - James Kochalka - hilarious
Comics Squad Recess! - a compliation with the Holms, Dav Pilkey and others
The Flying Beaver Brothers books by Maxwell Eaton
Ottos Orange Day/Ottos Backwards Day by Frank Cammuso and Jay Lynch
^ Those are published by Toon Books who do tons of great comic books for ages 4-8. Defintely check them out.
Captain Underpants obviously though it's not really a comic book but Super Diaper Baby is and lots of others by Dav Pilkey.

There's old favs like the Smurfs and Garfield who have newer, more modern comic books for younger kids. Theres a killer Wizard of Oz series but probably for older kids.

I have others which I can't remember right now. My children are voracious comic book readers. Our central library has a huge selection so we just go and get about 20 every week.

everything, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 20:18 (seven years ago) link

thanks y'all!
yeah i liked tintin when i was a kid, but maybe a little older... they are umm problematic aren't they? beautiful to look at though.

tylerw, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 20:23 (seven years ago) link

See also Nobrow's kid's comics:

They also do some really nice kids picture books.

BTW, Mr Men books are really boring to read as an adult. I remember being obsessed by them as a kid, and Ella loves them, but they do not stand up well.

as verbose and purple as a Peter Ustinov made of plums (James Morrison), Tuesday, 24 March 2015 23:42 (seven years ago) link

The Art Spiegelman-edited collection of classic American children's comics is one of the greatest anthologies of all time:

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Wednesday, 25 March 2015 09:07 (seven years ago) link

two months pass...

Ivy's new favorite book is Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman, which I impulse bought at TJ Maxx for like $4.50. She runs to her bookshelf saying, "Ah choo ah choo ah choo," grabs the book, and brings it to us. When we read it, she sneezes along with Chu and then kisses him goodnight at the end of the book.

So, search: Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman. The illustrations are fantastic, too. Lots of weird detail in them.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Friday, 5 June 2015 14:47 (six years ago) link

There's a second one, too, 'Chu's First Day at School', which Ella loves

as verbose and purple as a Peter Ustinov made of plums (James Morrison), Wednesday, 10 June 2015 03:37 (six years ago) link

Almost anything by Mercer Mayer is k-classic.

Aimless, Wednesday, 10 June 2015 04:11 (six years ago) link

Anyone got a good book that teaches the value of apologies? Got a precocious preschooler who would rather pretend to faint than apologize for anything.

how's life, Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:05 (six years ago) link

Mercer Mayer's "I'm Sorry

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:46 (six years ago) link,204,203,200_.jpg

which also specifically gets at how apologies don't mean much if you don't follow through on them

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:47 (six years ago) link

Cool! We haven't delved into Mercer Mayer yet, either.

how's life, Wednesday, 17 June 2015 16:21 (six years ago) link

love his style, kind of too prolific for his own good, almost makes it hard to pick out the "best".

also after someone pointed this out to me I can't unsee it:

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 17 June 2015 21:01 (six years ago) link

"I dress myself!"

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 17 June 2015 21:01 (six years ago) link

three months pass...

El Deafo by Cece Bell is a wonderful graphic novel for children ages 6-12 (imo). It's an autobiographical story about a little deaf girl/bunny. Great gift idea.

everything, Tuesday, 6 October 2015 21:59 (six years ago) link

my daughter *loves* that book

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 6 October 2015 22:03 (six years ago) link

Yeah mine has read it about 20 times and so have all her friends.

everything, Tuesday, 6 October 2015 22:07 (six years ago) link

two months pass...

god I hate these "If You Give a ____ a ____" books, would prefer it if they were stuffed with completely random non-sequiturs instead of this cutesy "aw the animal thinks its people" nonsense.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 21:25 (six years ago) link

Oh I hate those too. But not as much as I hate Pete the Cat books. I can't understand the popularity of these things at all.

early rejecter, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 21:01 (six years ago) link

you aren't supposed to like kids books. your kids are supposed to like them.

ienjoyhotdogs, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 22:19 (six years ago) link

my 4yo for a book of fairy tales and she asked me to read her hansel and gretl which i did and even tho i knew how much disturbing material was in it i was still a little taken aback. the wife is frank about wanting to ditch her kids in the forest (and we had an interesting conversation about why she isn't called their mother but her husband is called their father), the dad resists but ultimately she nags him into essentially abandoning his children for death. of course the witch tries to cannibalize both of the children, not to mention that the entire story takes place against a background of terrible deprivation + acute poverty. but i've read scholars who believe that the gruesomeness was necessary (bettelheim particularly iirc) for kids to process complicated details about the world and themselves. and my daughter loved it so much she wanted me to immediately read it again (despite it being a fairly lengthy story). she had a lot of questions too and she found the cannibalism elements hilarious. she also noted without my prodding that the witch was obviously the wife from the beginning and i kvelled bc i agree that it is the subtext - psychologically if not literally attributable to the text - and i think it was a v astute observation.

Mordy, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 22:28 (six years ago) link

then we read puss and boots and i think we both found it significantly less stimulating

Mordy, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 22:28 (six years ago) link

what no "Jew in the Thorns"

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 22:33 (six years ago) link

alas this version of collected stories (not just grimm) did not include it

Mordy, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 22:38 (six years ago) link

Never realised that about the witch, now feel foolish

as verbose and purple as a Peter Ustinov made of plums (James Morrison), Wednesday, 6 January 2016 23:53 (six years ago) link

six months pass...

My new favorite one to read.

Jeff, Wednesday, 3 August 2016 01:12 (five years ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.