I recently returned a bunch of books to the library, and I thought I’d give a brief rundown of some of the winners and losers. I let the kids pick basically whatever they want, so they usually run to the closest shelf and grab something without looking at it. I tell you this by way of explanation for the losers list. There are some really terrible children’s books.
Clumsy Duck, by Britta Teckentrup
I will admit that the story felt a little disjointed (in one spot I had to check to see if there was a page missing or stuck together. No luck.), but it’s big, fun to look at, the author’s name is fun to say, and it’s short enough that I don’t want to kill myself when the kids pick it up at night (I’m looking at you “Ollie the Elephant”)
The Cat With Seven Names, by Tony Johnston
I thought this was a really fun book. Maybe the theme of loneliness resonated with me a lot, but both Bonnie and I felt like this was charming and definitely worth a read. The kids seemed to really like it too, even if some of it went over their heads.
Losers (No pictures or links for the losers):
Nobody Here but Me, by Judith Viorst
Viorst. children’s. book. ever. (I know, name jokes aren’t funny, but seriously it was right there.) There may actually be a worse one somewhere in the world, but if someone came to me and said, “What’s a really terrible idea for a children’s book?” I could see describing the plot of this one. A little boy gets ignored (almost to the point of neglect) by his whole family. He’s super destructive. Then he gets himself ready for bed, gets in bed, and pretends to be asleep. Everyone comes and finds him and stands around smiling, while he continues to pretend to be asleep. Seriously, it is horrible. My kids weren’t even that entertained by it. It was awful in every way.
Stick Man, by Julia Donaldson
This book started out kind of cute, and I enjoyed the first part of it, but it gave me a major case of Fridge Horror. There’s a stick family and the stick dad gets carried further and further away from his family. Then Santa brings him back. Here’s the thing, the stick Dad is gone for months and months. He just walks out the door one day, never comes back, and then magically reappears on Christmas. Seriously, did the author not think at all about how messed up that scenario is, how close it is to some people’s actual lives, and how potentially damaging that idea could be to a kid? Don’t read this. It’s garbage in a nice package. It looks pretty, but something smells wrong.