Friday, March 7, 2014

1st time mom review series // what is up with children's books?!

It's been a long time since I read a children's book (my favourite growing up were the Berenstain Bears - which I had no clue at the time were faith based - kids don't usually notice the bigger picture) but when my daughter turned 3 months old, I started reading to her. At that point she would sit through a whole book and stare at the pictures so I thought it was as good a time as any to start.

We were lucky and were given a good selection of children's books when she was born so I just started reading them one by one, in no particular order, to see what ones she was attracted to, and which ones mommy might be able to stand reading more than once.

I quickly realized that - for the first time reading a children's book as an adult - children's books, for the most part, are quite messed up and ridiculous!

I could not stop laughing when I read this article from the blog, Anarchy in the Sandbox: 6 Classic Children’s Stories that are Really Screwed Up if You Think about It.

One of my other favourite books growing up was The Giving Tree (I even purchased a copy and used it as our guest book at our wedding) so Maria's take on the classic had me wiping away tears (of hilarity, not sadness):

Seriously, what is it with children’s books and poor boundaries? What the hell are we teaching kids? The story starts out innocently enough: The tree allows the boy to climb her trunk, swing from her branches and rest in her shade. It’s sweet. However, as the boy grows, she becomes a needy, clingy thing that will give up literally anything to please him. He takes her apples to sell, he cuts off her branches to build a house, and he cuts down her whole trunk to make a boat. A fucking boat! How much more self-entitled can you get? When all is said and done, he sits on what’s left of her corpse — a stump — to rest (AGAIN to meet his own needs). And all this makes the tree HAPPY! Is this what love is? Giving your very life so that people can have unnecessary shit like boats?

The most absurd one I have come across is by Robert Munsch. I understand that Robert Munsch is basically a legend in the children's literary world but can we just take a second to discuss Murmel Murmel Murmel (which is only $1.99 on - just FYI)? So a young girl finds a baby and then does everything in her power to give that baby away and in the end gives it to a truck driver? Um - stranger danger much?

Thank goodness kids (I am generalizing here because this is the case when it comes to me so I assume it is with others as well) won't understand the meaning of these books until they are adults - and the vicious cycle will live one - but seriously ... what the heck?

P.S. I just finished reading Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids and I would love any recommendations similar to this book if you have them! I know we need to read all types of books to our kids but I am hoping to add a few gems like this to her library so that I keep sane while reading to her for years to come!
P.P.S. These aren't real (I hope!!?) but had to share. Check these children's book options out!

Are you a 1st Time Mom and trying to figure it out as you go along too? Feel free to leave me a comment with any questions and I will be more than happy to get back to you. Thanks for reading!

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