Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh so True

I have an AOL account.

It dates back to the "check out this new internet thing that just came out" and "have you heard about electronic mail" days.

Gosh that makes me feel old.

I don't access the account often, but every once in awhile I check it.

The problem is that I always ALWAYS get sucked into whatever headline is on the main page.

Usually because it is celebrity gossip of sorts and I simply can not turn my back on a good celebrity gossip piece.

Today, however, I was lured by a link reading, Children's Books Parents Either Love or Hate.

And I found myself nodding my head and wanting to high five the author for publishing what I've been thinking for years.

My opinions have been silenced because, as a teacher, it just feels wrong to knock Shel Silverstein, Robert Munch of Dr. Suess. But, today I feel empowered to get this off my chest.

The article included my top three book fiascos.

Taking the Number 3 Spot: The Cat in the Hat

I enjoy "some" Dr. Suess. Some of my favorite quotes from my Theodore Geisel. I like the whimsy. I love me some Grinch every December. I think it makes a great classroom theme.

On the other hand, I find many of the books to be annoying. Granted, I am not a famous children's author so I shouldn't criticize, but I find it hard to applaud his work as "creative genius" when he is rhyming nonsense words. I too can write poems if I am allowed to simply make up words to rhyme with each other. Watch:

A giant mamloosa was riding a llamaloosa through the land of Oopaloosa.

See that was easy.

In the Number 2 Spot we have: The Giving Tree

Face it. The book should be titled, "The Selfish Kid and the Tree that Couldn't Stand Up For Itself." Enough said.

And in the Number 1 Spot: Love You Forever

This won by a landslide in my mind. I can see how some might find the first few pages to be endearing, but halfway through the book it screams out, "Help me Dr. Phil!" There could easily be a few extra pages added to include the men in white jackets restraining the woman who had crawled through the window and was found sleeping on her adult son's bedroom floor and taking her off to the home. It creeps me out.

So...what children's classics do you take issue with?

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  1. Where the Wild Things Are. I just don't get that book at all! I'm not a huge Maurice Sendak fan in general, but that one is particularly annoying to me. I do love some of the Robert Munsch books (not Love You Forever though) and agree about the wonderful quotes from Dr. Seuss.

  2. I agree with Where the Wild Things Are! With out fail, every SINGLE year my kids ask me (because we always talk about the 'purpose' of the story or author's purpose) what in the world the book was about? What the 'purpose' of the story was. I get that it's kind of about getting over fears and his imagination and all that jazz...but what REALLY is the main philosophy behind the book? I mean what WAS the author's purpose?! I would LOVE some help with that one!!

    :) Kelly
    Beg, Borrow, Steal

  3. I don't like James and The Giant Peach. Really, the peach grows huge and the kid lives in there with a bunch of bugs. I also don't like Fantastic Mr. Fox. But I like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

  4. I have always felt the exact same way about Love You Forever. I have never liked it and thought it was just weird. Yet, I have seen other teachers get weepy and teary eyed over the "sweetness" over it. I told my husband if I'm ever crawling through my grown children's windows to rock them, to please have me committed. I understand how a parent might wish they could still hug and rock a grown child, but not actually carry it out against their child's will and include breaking and entering! LOL!

  5. I LOVE Robert Munsch but can't stand Love You Forever! It creeps me out, too!!!!
    Have you seen the Friends where Joey reads it to Rachel's baby as a gift (because he didn't actually get her a gift). They're all crying, too!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  6. LOL! Love your voice in this writing!

  7. Goodnight Moon....Saying goodnight to nothing always creeped me out.

  8. There is one book that I cannot stand. It really creeps me out. At the very tip top of my list is Stuart Little. It feels so good to say this to someone! I only read it once to a class and was completely creeped out. I put myself in the shoes of the mother. Just imagine. She is nine months pregnant and goes to the hospital to give birth. Her pregnancy was seemingly normal. But she gives birth to a mouse. A mouse???? Just imagine if that was you. EEEEEEWWWWWWWW! Giving birth to a mouse?!? The other teachers think I am a little crazy, but what woman would want to give birth to a mouse? Creepy, creepy, creepy!
    An Open Door
    P.S. I do love Trumpet of the Swan and Charlotte's Web. Really, I do!

  9. As a kid I loved Junie B Jones and Amelia Bedelia! Looking at them through an adult perspective though, Junie was so annoying!

    Worst kids book, from a multicultural perspective, Little Black Sambo!

  10. haha great choices! p.s. I remember the days AOL was facebook! (high school seems like a different lifetime now)

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    A Teacher's Treasure

  11. I have nominated your blog for the sunshine award. Please stop by to claim it! You have a great blog!


  12. I nominated you for the Sunshine Award! Stop by my blog to pick it up!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  13. I don't have a blog... so I can't put mine in the name for whatever my comment is... is that a problem?

    I'm a student teacher from Canada, btw, and I found your blog courtesy of juiceboxesandcrayolas.

    MUCH agreed about I Love You Forever. At summer camp when I was a teenager, we did a skit based on the creeepiness of that book. But otherwise, Robert Munsch is a total genius. And to second whoever said it, I also dislike Goodnight Moon - I just don't get the point of it. It's okay, but there are so many better children's books that could be more famous.

    And as for Dr. Seuss... I only appreciate the Cat in the Hat because (drum roll please) the very first book that I ever read by myself as a child! The Lorax, however, is my hero.

  14. I love The Lorax and The Grinch(which I read every year for Earth Day and Christmas, respectively). I read Love You Forever once to my classes and was completely wierded out not even half way through. It's just strange, that's all.


  15. OMG. I cannot STAND Love You Forever. I think it is so CREEPY. I am so glad that at least a few other people agree with me. Everyone I know, teachers included, think it is SO sweet. That is one book that will never ever make it into my classroom. On the flipside, I'm a big fan of Mary Pope Osborne and the Magic Tree House Series, so that one surprised me.

  16. Wow. I find the dislike for Love You Forever kind of funny. I think it's a great book about the depths of a parent's love. I don't think it's a children's book, so it's a bit misplaced in a classroom. I might not sneak into my adult children's rooms to rock them to sleep, but I would drive 1000 miles at the drop of a hat when a child needed it. So would my dad: http://damngoodsoldier.blogspot.com/2009/02/knowing-god.html

    Goodnight Moon is about the simplistic joy and awe a child can find in the merest of things. Our world could use more of that.

    Different strokes, I guess.

  17. I love your post! I was chuckling all the way through it. You are soooo right!!

  18. I have been in a vocal minority about "Love You Forever" for years! There is so much creepiness in this infantalizing story--crawling through windows, rocking grown people--someone's going to be paying for therapy for the rest of their lives. This is NOT sweet, it's just scary!

  19. I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR!!!! At the end of Dr. Seuss day in March...I want to go straight to the liquor store and drink {I don't even drink!}. His books are SOOO hard to read!

    Can I just mention another "classic"? I hate "Goodnight Moon". What a weird rhyming book. Who says goodnight to everything in their room?

  20. I so agree. I do not like Seuss books. They don't make much sense.
    Love You Forever never crossed my mind but now I totally agree!

  21. Different strokes, for sure... I can't stand A Wrinkle In Time. It is absolutely awful writing, and I can think of about 300 better introductions to science fiction. Also. As a parent of two very wild boys, Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are are two all time favorites. Goodnight Moon has a crescendo of sleepiness I can use to settle the boys down, and Where the Wild Things Are, for us, is all about being naughty and taking a time out, but using it to play wild and imaginitive games... until it's finally time to settle down and rejoin the family.


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