Monday, August 5, 2013

Children's Books I Don't Like

I love books. I love my kids. I love reading books to my kids. 

But here's my dirty secret: there are some children's books I really like reading to my kids, and some I really, really, really don't like reading to them. The ones I don't like reading are the collection books. 

Here is a photo of a Richard Scarry book, The Best Word Book Ever. I actually like Richard Scarry books because even though they are basically lists, Scarry takes the time to develop an actual story line. We read about Kenny Bear's day. There are questions in the text that encourage the children to pause, ponder and reply. The drawings are cute, too. He's a great artist. I even love the Scarry book that features the Pig family going on vacation and a mini-hunt for Goldbug. 


But the Scarry books are above the line of books that irritate me. These next two books are examples of ones that I dread reading. I hate the lack of story line. The books are just like big collections of images and words with no plot, no characters, no tension, climax or resolution. It's literally reading a grocery list or a catalogue. There is no beginning, no middle...and no end. Which means storytime at bedtime gets prolonged way past a reasonable amount of time. And I'm brain-dead. 


This collection book has flaps. Another irritating feature. Not only do we have to look at the collection of images with no purpose, no character that discovers something wonderful or does adorable things, we have to lift all the flaps. Some flaps get stuck. Did we forget a flap? We have to turn the pages back and start at the beginning again? Ugh. Please don't lift a flap FOR anyone either or that will result in a rage completely disproportionate to the actual violation. 


Give me a good story book any day of the week. Classics like Dandelion, The Little Island, Make Way for Ducklings. I love me some new books like Gossie, or Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and even the excessively repetitive Down by The Station.

But please. No more collection books. Please.