to think that Spot books are just really really badly written?(151 Posts)
I have to make up my own words to them.
And don't even get me started on the Mr.Men books. Hate them.
And as for Thomas the Tank Engine... they make me lose the will to live.
Mr Men awful. But Spot kind of cute. Thomas the Tank the worst.
YABU- They're not aimed at you!
I was about to post "don't get me started on Mr Men". ROFL when I read your two posts. I actually refuse to read Mr Men books to my son. I can't stand the prose. Every so often, I try, but can't force myself past the first page.
shineon They're presumably not meant for the child to read themselves
The Mr Men are okay (well the ones Roger Hargreaves actually wrote are okay, they have some interesting vocab in them), the ones I can't bear are the Little Misses - he was obv. flogging a long-dead horse and couldn't be arsed to give them any kind of plot or coherent storyline... and at least 1 other Mr Man seems to need to make an appearance in each to prop them up!
Spot sucks. Thomas the Tank is brain death. And there is a special circle of Hell reserved for the author of the 'That's not my.....' series!
I didn't mind Spot, tho if you really want a dog, Kipper's your chap.
Didn't like Mr Men at all tho, not sure why. DD was very keen
DCs never paid attention to me reading Mr. Men or Spot. I too them to the charity shop.
I got so bored of reading "Where's Spot" that i cut heads off all my DSs immediate relatives (in photos obv) and stuck them on the characters. My particular favourite was my dad hanging like a monkey and MIL as a crocodile. Doesn't half cheer the book up!
What's wrong with Mr Men books? I like reading them and hadn't noticed anything wrong with them. Does that mean my command of English is a bit pants?
Didn't mind the Spot books (and DC both loved them) but LOATHED Thomas the Tank Engine and Mr Men/Little Misses. I used to dread them asking for these at bedtime.
I always enjoyed reading Dr Seuss and the Mog books when they were little, though (just as well as I had to read them a lot!)
Great idea, PortBlacksandResident
YANBU. Kids books should be a pleasure for both children and adults to read.
Spot (wtf is that thing about referring to his parents by their first names???) - shite.
Thomas - shite.
Like the Mrs Men books (memory lane trip from my childhood, too!)
Charlie and Lola/ anything by Julia Donaldson:
I love the first fifteen or so Mr Men books. I think they are extraordinarily good
The later ones and the Little Misses are inferior.
As a child, I adored them.
I bought a Learn To Count with Spot DVD for my dd. It's dreadful, simply dreadful, like watching paint dry and dd is bored with it instantly. Very bland and tedious and wouldn't really encourage a child to learn to count imo.
I like Thomas - a lot of nostalgia for me.
I like the Mr Men and dd has a Little Miss DVD and she loves it!
Spot books are ultra boring. Boring text, boring illustrations and too many flaps in most of them if I recall. They are books to RIP, clearly. Rip or R.I.P.
Mr Men Books are like Red wine. They too are quite boring, nobody really likes them, but they are an acquired taste sort of book. The delight is in the simple veneer that belies a certain lyrical complexity. They are still shit though apart from the fact that you can line the spines up and spell words like magic.
Those vegetable people were better, what are they called..?
>>(wtf is that thing about referring to his parents by their first names???) - shite.
Yes, very casual and seventies
No no fruitbeard, do not put 'That's not my..' author in circle of hell. She is really lovely.
(It's not me, btw)
hobbgoblin - OMG the Spot illustrations!!! <<strangles self>>
StayFrosty - I prefer to stick to the anal retentive control freakery of the upper class '30s. Children should refer to their parents as 'mater' and 'pater'.
I think the whole concept of Spot the Dog came about due to the fact that Spot the Dog began life as a Spot the Difference quiz on the back of a Little Chef menu. The point being there is little difference, between storyline or illustration not only across pages in the book but also across the whole series of books.
i rewrote and reillustrated spot books as a teenager.
in 'where's that spotty fucker?' the flap would open to show spots father shooting up on the bog.
heavily inspired by viz.
lots of time on my hands back then. <wistful>
I really am going to bed now. But just have to say - db you are utterly brilliant.
ROFL and PMSL at the same time!
I'm nominating that for quote of the week.
silly stupid Mr Men books!
I just don't get them and dd has the whole box set (she loves them) and ds CONTINUALLY pulls them all out all over the floor....aaarrgh!
I've lost count of the times I go into her room to find loads of little white books splattered everywhere....and then they ALL need to go back in the box, the right way, to spell the silly words on the side.......
Much prefer Mog or any other Judith Kerr book.
I love Spot, sorry. Especially the flaps!
Mr Men are boring though.
YABU. My children loved Mr Men and Spot when they were little.
That bloody Bear Hunt books makes me contemplate launching myself out of the bedroom window.
I hated it so much i but it in the bin.
My son and I both love/d Spot and Mr Men.
But am with you on Thomas.
We make it up and change the words/ voices to see if he's paying attention.
(hopefully he's not so i can stop!)
They can be a bit tedious, but a lot of them were written many moons ago! Charlie and Lola I find annoying...she said then I said then Marv said then I said and then charlie said.....arrrg
Mr Men - well, it was a shocking revelation to me and my DH just how shit they really are.
I had kept all mine from childhood. They had sat on DD's shelf until she was about 3. We dusted them off, she even got a poster with all of the on and put it by her bed....and then we started to read and by god they truly SUCK!
Worst of all, DD loves them and will ALWAYS request one. DH and I fight over who reads the MM book and who gets to read a chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (she's nearly 4 now).
SPOT, ditto. Though we've never bought them. We just got given an annoying one with the sonic buttons.
Thomas...also double grrr. We got given a mini box set for DS when he was about 18 months. Tedium is not the word.
But I actually LOVE charlie and Lola Starfish!
Thomas and the Hurricane - my Dss' favourite book, but I actually tell them 'No. Find something else for Mummy to read' as I loathe it so much!! And Bear Hunt!!!!
Oh, and if anyone has the misfortune to acquire any Brum books - bin without reading. Tedious bubbles with 'Way to go Brum', 'What ya gonna do Brum?' and 'Brum saved the day' thrown in the middle of a pointless storyline where Brum whirls his wheels and twirls his handle is too much <<and breathe>>.
Ooh I really like Mr Men - I find them quite fun to read.
Beatrix Potter is my pet hate - so violent!
yes, i had to skip the bit in one of the beatrix potters when the animals get a beating for being naughty.
hardly conducive to sleep.
I hide the Mr Men books at the back of the bookshelf...I can't put my finger on what exactly it is that makes them so boring to read..but they are like a form of torture.
Mr Men, Spot and Thomas are all awful.
YANBU at all.
Love Beatrix Potter, though.
Anyone read Potter's Tale of the Fierce Bad Rabbit?
unfortuately Mr men books are only allowed to be read by men (and there sure as hell isn't a little miss anyone in this here house)
so that's me off that one..
thomas books are surely a form of mental torture...
spot..only has pictures as far as my kids are aware....
and don't get me started on frigging Noddy zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I don't think it matters what you like as an adult-DCs have different taste and it is what they like that counts.
DS1 loved Thomas and much as I loathed them I always read them-he chose them at the library and we must have done the whole series (which is long). Luckily DS2 and3 didn't like them. They all loved Spot and the Mr Men.
I love Beatrix Potter but they weren't keen.
I like reading the Bear Hunt-I find that most DCs do.
We used the library a lot and they had a free choice. Sometimes they humoured me and let me read my favourites.
Am I the only one who likes Thomas books.
Ds has mr Tickle which I don't mind reading at all. The only books I have hidden are 4 books he was given two were lift the flap bible story books and although the stories are fine(I am a christian) it's the amount of faps they had to open on each page took flipping ages to read.
The other two were just plain hideous one was about sharing and was wrote in the style of the two children talking with 'says molly' then 'says sarah' at the end of each sentence all the way through the book.
Oh we got some tomas books from the TV series. Never heard of the characters before but they were EVEN WORSE.
Hate Mr Men.Shame DD adores them!
We both love Julia Donaldson books though
MrMen not too bad, I tend to miss bits out and make up my own bits
Give me a good old Julia Donaldson, I am liking the Princess and the Wizard at the mo
and spot is just so bratty....
Snowybun - no, you aren't alone! I love the original Thomas stories. All based on real incidents... but then, my father drives steam engines for fun so I've had a lifetime of playing with real trains, possibly a slightly different perspective to most mothers.
(The one about the Old Lost Engine 'Duke' makes me cry as it's true - he was found, by Revd. Awdry, in his little engine shed which was hidden under a landslip when the railway was abandoned. Real engine, Prince, now restored and runs on the Ffestiniog Railway in N Wales ).
The Fierce Bad Rabbit is fab. Also Two Bad Mice and poor old Tom Kitten nearly getting eaten. I used to terrify (enjoyably, I promise) my much younger sister by rolling her up in a duvet and putting real butter and salt and pepper on her head before 'cooking' her in front of the stove. Happy memories.
Julia Donaldson is fab. We are really enjoying Tyrannosaurus Drip at the moment (except my bloodthirsty child can't see why they shouldn't eat the duck bill dinosaurs).
I got told off by DD for kicking a stick 'in case it's Stick Man'
Mr Men bad
but both works of literary genius compared to Peppa Pig!
and why has noone mentioned Beatrix Potter. The classic ones are fine Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck (although that may be just familiarity) but MIL who likes to buy improving books for DD aged 2 has recently bought us 'The tale of the pie dish and the patty pan' neither DH nor I could understand the convoluted plot and it had DD shouting 'want go sleep now' by halfway through!
agree wholeheartedly emkana!
hate spot books especially but mr men and ttte and drive me insane
Oh sorry loads of people have mentioned Potter I just didn't read page 2
"it had DD shouting 'want go sleep now' by halfway through!"
Haha! That sounds fabulous.
My dds loved Spot. dd1 insisted on getting a spot book out of the library until she was in year 2. She also loved Rod Cambell books, her favourite being I Won't Bite. In fact, she has not let me clear her old Spot books out to the charity shop even now, and she is nearly 9.
The worst children's book I have ever read is a modern Famous Five one. Obviously, I was upset that anyone would want to modernise the series, but ignoring that, the writing was diabolical. It really was like wading through mud.
My ds loved this book
The authors Mum lives near me!
All disney storybooks are pants.
especially the winnie the pooh ones.
Love the original pooh bear stories though.
Also love mr men, mr bump rocks.
Thomas the Tank Engine - the originals - are soooo awful. The plots are so disjointed.
Mr Men also appalling. A couple of the originals (Mr Strong, Mr Happy) are OK but many are painful. The illustrations particularly annoy me. Storyline mentions a flight on an eagle but the picture is them walking down the road 5 minutes later - sort of thing.
Longer Beatrix Potter also tough going.
Not many other books make me want to lose will to live. I liked 'Sir Charlie Stinky Socks' book - the first one. The second one is really poorly written and structured. That one hurts a bit.
ooh yes hate thomas, mr men, spot.
i'd like to string up blardy rod campbell. rubbish. if you can't draw why not get an illustrator??!!
can i throw in a vote for ivor the engine? ds1 (4) loves it. fun for me to read too.
love love love charlie & lola, julia donaldson
my dd3 loves rod campbell - no eggs here oh dear - it is very very draining on the spirits
spot - very disappointing - i expect them to be great but then they fizzle out in a boring whimper
I hate Orange Pear Apple Bear!! All it does is swap the words around on the pages, I realise that maybe the author's idea was to help children learn to read, but spare a thought for the poor parents who have to read it first.
Dr Seus and Beatrix Potter get my vote and I can't wait until my dds are older so I can read The Faraway Tree.
my fav picture book is Fix It Duck
all the Jez Alborough Duck books make me lol,even after 50,000 readings (yes they are also 2.7 dd's fav books)
Hate Spot, loathe Thomas, but my pet hate is my dd's favourite - Dora the chuffin explorer. Love the concept of a go-getting girl, but the writing is so bad it makes your eyes bleed. And the DVDs - they're so SHOUTY.
We like orange pear apple bear. It only takes seconds to read and I swear the author was wasted when she came up with the idea .
Spot is a bit boring.
We love Miffy though. And Dr Suess.
But my new hated books are the modern Read It Yourself books. Talk about fecking dumbing down !!!! They only contain a few words and the stories are edited to the point of not having any 'flow' to the story, I have to add bits so ds knows what's going on. I have some original Read It Yourself books from the late 60's and even the easy ones were much harder and made more sense than the modern ones.
Thomas the Tank Engine books are dire.
And then when they made them into videos they got a man with the most boring voice in the world to narrate them - quite apt really!
I also can't bear Beatrix Potter.
Absolutely love Duck in a Truck by Jez Alborough, and anything by Julia Donaldson and the Ahlbergs.
We just had orange pear apple bear out from the library and DS (2.9 months) thought it was hilarious. I thought it was ridiculous but then after we read it 5/6 times and DS started saying "apple pear bear" in a funny voice I sort of saw the attraction.
I also hate things which I hate reading.
Some of our faves:-
The Monkey with the Blue Bottom
Julia Donaldson books
Giraffes Can't Dance Giles Andrae
Also had a Superduck book recently and loved those too !
The thing that drives me batty is the number of times I have to add in 'please' or 'thank you' to conversations in children's books.
Very few authors must have any manners!
Oh and I refuse to watch TTTE on the telly (or read those "pocket sized books"). Boring narration, boring viewing.....Dire Dire Dire.
DS had Where's Spot when he was v young as he loved flaps. When he went to his 2 yr health check they gave it out as a free book, and he sat there and read it to himself...ie/ "Spot here". (open flap). "No. Crocodile/monkey/hippo" etc. Hilarious. No wonder you all hate it if my toddler got the plot before he was 2.
Ds at 2.4 loves the Usbourne farmyard/new experiences books but never enough in library. Also Julia Donaldson, esp Sharing a Shell. Mr Men involve me having to read with lots of different voices and I get all confused with who I'm supposed to be. Mr Noisy has too much shouting, and I worry what the neighbours will think...
Jackstini - you need the Elephant and the Bad Baby...
have read spot so mant times but it doesnt bother me anywhere near as much as beatrix poter! maybe a few of them are suitable for little ones but the rest are just too long winded!
Love dr seuss and the gruffalo etc but my absolute fave childrens book is called "goodnight lulu" - its such a simple book and makes them all "comfy, cozy" in their beds!! might just go and get it and read it to myself before i go to sleep!
Oh Thomas the Tank Engine - I want to weep when ds presents me with one of those. The endless ones about one particular character I mean.
I like the Mister Men ones, some of them are quite funny.
At least though, none of you have to read this one aaarggh!!. DS has ASD and this is what passes for light reading in his world .
Hobbgoblin, Are you thinking of the Garden Gang?
The loved Roger the Radish and Lawrence the Lemon, who inexplicably had skis and wore a wolly hat.
Elephant and the Bad Baby is BRILLIANT - I love it. And Snip Snap, and the Emily Brown books, and Lost and Found.
Mainly, though, dd is obsessed with the Children's Traffic Club. Anyone else get that? We read it five times a day for at least three months. The Children's Traffic Club characters are her imaginary friends - they come for sleepovers every night. We visit the website so we can sing along to the Children's Traffic Club song. I even got nagged into purchasing a Chidlren's Traffic Club t-shirt and balloons: the woman on the phone was very startled that I actually wanted to BUY something from them. Rather eccentric, my dd, even by 3-year-old standards.
I hate ANY book that is based on a TV series- Thomas, Bob, Dora- they bank on kids seeing them and wanting them because they recognise the characters, and seem to make no effort to actually provide a decent story or be well written.
My 18mth old loves the Rod Campbell's (Dear Zoo, Oh Dear), because he likes the flaps and likes to make animal noises, so he can interact.
I like Dr Seuss (and happily so do my kids!) and Julia Donaldson gets my vote too. dd2 is really keen on DHs old book of classic fairy stories atm, and I'm surprised at how brutal some of them are- I mean, The Little Matchgirl??? Her fave is Jack the Giant killer, where she shows a worrying interest in the actual methods of killing Jack employs, and how that would actually kill someone- should I be worried?
Thankfully they are getting a bit bigger now (5 and nearly 4), so we have been able to move onto Roald Dahl, Faraway Tree, Peter Pan (the real one- the Disney book is cringy!)Although my recent rereading of Alice in Wonderland has been surprisingly disappointing- the kids didn't really get it, and it somehow wasn't as good as I'd remembered
Thomas - rule in our house that daddy reads those, mummy doesn't read them. Cue dd and daddy special time on a weekend morning.
Spot - dire, sexist, awful.
Mr Men, some really bad, particularly the ones not written by him, but kind of fond of some of them.
Julie Donaldson - not all fab but Sharing a Shell great for some ecological concepts!
The Bog Baby my absolute favourite at the moment - a very special book with gorgeous illustrations.
I kept a lot of my Picture Puffins from when I was little. Some of them are horrendous. Some of them are fab. But dd seems to have no quality control! I have hidden/lost some of them accidentally on purpose.
Dp just said "can't see problem with Thomas, but Spot is bad".
The Elephant and the Bad Baby is FAB! Also see Meet Wild Boars for more subversive fun. And the best recent book we've found is I Really Want to Eat a Child. I've recommended it to loads of people and everyone has loved it (adults as well as children, it's one of those that you honestly don't mind reading fifty times).
I would like to know what happened to jayne fisher who wrote the garden gang. she was, iirc, about 9. So she'd be in her 40s or so now. Wikipedia is unhelpful.
maybe she has changed her name? Though the books were very good for a 9 year old.
A couple of things in my children's books freaked me out, and haunt me still - when I encountered them as an adult.
One is a line in a Beatrix Potter story (Mr Tod?) where they arrive at a horrible shack where the baby (rabbits?) are being held prisoner, which goes something like: "There were many things lying around outside, which really should have been buried."
The other is an illustration - can't remember the name of the book in question but it's one of those takes on Red Riding Hood where the wolf is outsmarted by the clever little girl. In this case, the wolf dresses up like an old granny, and tries to give the little girl a balloon... but somehow ends up holding too many balloons, and floats off into the sky. Fair enough - until you turn to the last illustration, and it's of the wolf, weeks later, still floating in the air, but starved to a near-skeleton, still wearing his granny clothes that are now hanging off him in folds.
Are thomas books really bad?
My dad always did the bedtime stories and we usually got thomas or one of his friends. As a child I think I enjoyed them...
And today dad announced that he was bored of all DDs usual books and produced a very battered thomas book...
Are they a man thing?
I hate Oxford Reading Tree books from school. Chip and Biff - what sort of names are those and which one is the girl. Aaargh.
Haven't read the thread, but I think the Elmer books are particularly shitly written. Good illustrations though.
'I hate ANY book that is based on a TV series- Thomas, Bob, Dora'
If you mean Thomas the Tank Engine-they were written by Rev Awdry, a railway enthusiast, for his son Christopher, starting in 1943.
Apologies if you didn't mean that Thomas.
Owl Babies. Vomit, vomit, vomit. Twee as anything, cruddy illustrations and nothing happens. DH was reading to our 6mo DS with disbelief tonight, not having read it before.
I'm with whoever slated the "That's not my..." books. I'm sure the author is lovely but I'm afraid the copy of "That's not my Santa" we got for Xmas is just crap. "That's not my Santa, his beard is too fluffy" or something. WTF?
Trefusis, eurrrrgh. I think I remember the wolf but had forgotten it until now (ta!). A relative gave us her "Mother Goose" or somesuch from her own childhood and it has so many gruesome rhymes in it. "Who Killed Cock Robin" isn't the half of it. Brrr.
Any book that is more about shifting product than enjoying reading.
I loved Noggin the Nog books when I was tiny (apparently) and have recently seen the TV series. My goodness, but it's dull. Tiny Vikings toddling around having adventures that all seem to end in eating hot buttered toast. But I am sure that is exactly why I loved it as a child.
Doesn't Beatrix Potter contain some horrors? I am sure that domestic violence occurs in the Tale of Two Bad Mice. But I loved the Tailor of Gloucester and The Tale of Mrs Tiggywinkle.
We also love "Peepo" for the period detail in the illustrations and DS likes chewing it and sticking his hand through the hole in the page. And DH loves the Gruffalo as he does the voices like various celebrities. Fox is Ringo Starr, the Gruffalo is Brian Blessed and Owl is Noel Coward. Not sure who Snake's supposed to be but whoever it is, his dentures don't fit.
What's with that weird ending of The Elephant and the Bad Baby? Was he on drugs? Had he given up on life?
But Owl Babies is great (well, if you have a child like mine who positively enjoys weeping).
Also, wasn't the Bad Baby just knackered from being bad?
I have to say I rather love the violence of Beatrix Potter. But then I have a mad friend who has excised the word bad from the elephant etc because bad is just wrong in her world. Odd.
We have "that's not my penguin" and it is perfectly alright by me
Noggin the nog I never knew there were books? i thought it was another oliver postgate job - certainly i loved it as a child. Same vibe as captain pugwash (the bits of cardboard for the mouth moving and that was it!).
Starkadder - will check that one out.
To be fair dd reads absolutely anything & everything and our family must know it - she got 73 books for Christmas!
I am much more picky than she is!
Hate hate hate Mr Men books and will refuse point blank to read them. Love Dr Seuss generally, but am all Cat in the Hatted-out. Anything Disney or character based completely turns me off.
Love Shirley Hughes. Don't mind Julia Donaldson. And Emily gravett is pretty cool too.
trefusis - the emaciated wolf is in "beware of girls" ds2 was fascinated by that picture
My dcs have always loved badly written, impossible to read aloud without that dragging fingernails down a blackboard feeling books, usually given as hand me downs or bought at school fairs.
garden gang was WONDERFUL!
ditto curious about the whereabouts of jayne fisher...perhaps she is an mn-er...???
I tried reading DS a Secret Seven book, because in race memory everyone loved them (I didn't) so thought I should at least give him the option.
Just awful. After about half way he said 'what is going on? please stop reading this now'. We went back to Harry Potter with feelings of relief.
The little one, who let's say doesn't exactly challenge himself, is still enjoying Kipper even tho' he starts school in September. That's going to be a bit of a shock, eh!
I could happily read the Tiger who came to Tea every day (and I think I have) but want to throw all the Thomas, Mr Men and bloody dinosaur encyclopedias over next doors fence.
I see Spot books as being 'readers' for children learning to read, as well as being friendly images for pre-school age. Big text, simple words - DD1 who is 5 and in reception can just about read a whole story to her little sister. Very cute indeed, so I like them for that reason. They are not exactly bed time story material otherwise.
Mr Men are awful to read, likewise Thomas.
I nearly dislocated my jaw trying not to yawn while reading the Thomas stories.
I also made the mistake of buying 'Curious George' because the illustrations looked quite sweet. What a mistake!
The stories were inane yet wildly irritating and DH and I refused to read them to DS. He had to rely on visiting friends who volunteered for the bedtime story, while DH and I made a start on the wine
DD was given That's Not My Princess and dh and I always childlishly chortle when we get to 'That's not my princess...her fan is too fluffy'.
I'm another one who can't bear reading Thomas the Tank. I love Julia Donaldson books and Miriam Moss' Billy Bear stories.
I started reading Mr Men books to DD1 when I had dreadful 'morning' sickness before realising how awful they are to read. She loved them of course and still does. They still make me feel nauseous and that's before I've even opened the cover
Agree re. the Thomas stories - same thing happens in each one and some of the messages they give are awful.
Don't mind the Mr Men books or the That's Not My X series.
My fave books to read are Bear Hunt, Penguin and The Night Pirates.
The DCs and I both love 'White Is The Moon' by Valerie Greeley - hard to get, but there are secondhand copies about. It has wonderful imagery and rhythm (although not poetry as such) and ends up with "goodnight" - useful at bedtime.
Also AA Milne - all the books (the originals, not the Disney spinoffs); the poems are funny and still reverberate in my head. ("There once was a dormouse who lived in a bed/Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)...", marvellous, though a little sad at the end, but a good message about making the best of what happens, I suppose.)
Dr Seuss: great. And ones like Fox in Sox and The Cat in the Hat are great for getting them to start reading - in time they can chip in with a familiar line when they see it come up.
There are some good poetry anthologies for children which introduce them to snippets of both old and modern poetry; some of them are arranged in age order. I like 'I Like This Poem' (poems chosen for children by children)ed Kaye Webb.
I also like to expose them to the old nursery rhymes and fairy tales (old Ladybird ones are good) - part of their heritage.
I loved reading DS the Thomas books! Couldn't bear Beatrix Potter, but luckily neither could he, so the lovely illustrated "complete works" got shelved very soon.
Trefusis - that sounds like "Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf". I loved that when I was little.
My mother was an outrageous snob and banned the Mr. Men and Enid Blyton from the house.
Would it be inappropriate to admit I hate the Gruffalo? Repetative and dull, though I do like the Gruffalo's Child. Some Beatrix Potter is great, some dull, some downright scary. Dd1 loves the Tale of Tom Kitten (Or Rats and Cats as she calls it) dh does a terrifying voice for the rat calling "Anna Maria! Anna Maria!" but dd1 seems to like it.
I like both Gruffalo and Gruffalo's Child but love The Smartest Giant in Town.
Yeh! At last a fellow Gruffalo-hater!
I could have written it - in ten minutes. And it just smacks of NCT/Boden/bedtime routines blah de blah. I saw there was a theatre production of it doing the rounds. Can you just imagine the pushy mums thrusting their sprogs forward and the stench of masticated rice cakes permeating the theatre...
I bought the Garden Gang books for dd having loved them as a child.
Thankfully I don't recall having ever read anything Spot related.
At the moment we have to read King Rollo's New Shoes and King Rollo and the Birthday Card every day. They are mercifully short. And slightly more entertaining to read than watch iirc. DH plays the magician as the emperor from Star Wars.
I enjoy reading Burglar Bill.
Agree that anything that is basically a spin off of a TV series is invariably awful - the Tombliboos Trousers story from ITNG has makka pakka acting as a glorifed butler/slave again.
I still have some of my original garden gang books.
Second Oxford Reading Tree.
ive taken my two to see the gruffalo and tiger who came to tea on they stage and we all wore boden
kids loved it
[bit of a fib about the boden by the way]
Although my youngest is now 5 and supposedly getting a little beyond picture books, we still read anything Julia Donaldson (our family fave is "The Snail and the Whale"), Oliver Jeffers (Lost and Found, How to Catch a Star etc), Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean, fab to see a mention of "Girrafes Can't Dance" earlier on.... even ds (7) still wants that! We no longer need to read Dr Seuss as we can all recite the whole lot from memory!
For older readers, I detest with a passion the "Fairy Magic" series! Aaaaaaarrrrgh! Though ds likes "Beast Quest" which seems to be the equivalent for boys.
Hated reading Dora, Spot, never got into Thomas thank goodness!
The worst thing about 'That's not my...' books is how horribly inaccurate a lot of the adjectives are.
Oliver Jeffers is great, we love those too.
I truly loathe all those gruesome girls' book series about fairies, princesses etc
Susie the Sulky Fairy and her friends are the utter worst thing I've ever had to read aloud. There is no plot, just random sequences skippity hopping from toadstool to fairy dew.
And then, we were bought a further title (Charlene the ASBO fairy) which came with a CD. This was played in the car throughout a long drive on holiday across France. The torture was indescribable.
But madge, are you not the utterly charming star of a fairly gruesome girls series yourself?
newgirl on Thu 07-May-09 14:20:38
ive taken my two to see the gruffalo and tiger who came to tea on they stage and we all wore boden
kids loved it
ooh newgirl us too, except the boden bit
the gruffalo is fab!!
Spot is vile but I save my vitriol for the Oxford Tree shite. I frigging hate Bif, Kipper, Chip and their moronic group of friends. I categorically refused to read them to DD1 while she was at school. Someone, who clearly hates me, gave me a stack for DD2. They went straight to the charity shop. Millions of incredible childrens' books out there so why would I let my children's brains rot with that crap.
DH gets hysterical when presented with Beatrix Potter. He thinks its the most atrocious MC crap ever [which never ceases to make me snigger since it would be impossible to be more MC than DH]. He would like me to also add Enid Blyton and the Hardy Boys.
We like Pippi Longstocking, Paddington Bear, Julia Donaldson, Magic School Bus [originals not tv tie-in], Winnie-the-pooh, Harry Potter, and Dr SUess.
We got given a couple of Miffy books when ds was born and I had to throw them away (unheard of for me and books!) as I thought they were so dreadful. I realise they are translated, but surely a native English speaker should have proof-read them before they were published?
Appalling rhyming, no punctuation...I really can't imagine they were much better in the original dutch.
I also had to give away a set of Beatrix Potter books; maybe it's because I never read them as a child, so there is no nostalgia factor, but I thought they were quite dreadful and bizarre - there are some very bits in them. I don't see how anyone really can like them any more.
Dr Suess - the fox in bleeding sox!! Try to read that after even sniffing the wine bottle and some of the others are even worse
Although I do love Cat in the Hat
I do share your hatred for Oxford tree - dd is in reception and doing them now. I just can't wait for ds to start in September and to have to do the same set for the second time ......arrgh those ones that you have to read the cards with .......
Charlie and Lola is pretty OK, ds loves Noddy and anything slightly rude ( aliens loving underpants and Spaceboy spud with the Island Pee Pee - don't ask)
Now - I love Beatrix potter but it really is the nostalgia bit. I remember the pictures from when I was a kid
Thomas and the Mr Men are unreadable - as is that silly sod Percy the Park Keeper.
Horton, I have a friend who has excised the word "bad" from the Elephant and the Bad Baby too! She doesn't believe in bad. I wonder if it's the same person?
My daughter, DH and I love Julia Donaldson's books; Charlie and Lola; The BEar in the Cave( which drives me bonkers- but she can recite it word by word!!!); Aliens/ dinosaurs wear Underpants;Giraffes can't Dance; Charlie Stinky Socks; The Tickle Monster; the Mr Croc books with the flaps and pop ups at the end; Shark in the Park- quite like Nick Sharratt... she has a bookcase full of books- we could open a library!!!
My daughter is only 2 and half but she has been read to since being a few months ld and she has a love of books and stories. I love the way she will tell the story back to herself using the pictures- I think as long as they are listening to/ reading that has got to be a positiv thing and it doesn't matter what we think fo thebook- surely a love of reading is more important (spot the English teacher!!).
Oliver Jeffers is amazing, I cried the first time I read Lost and Found! Have you seen the TV dramatisation? It's beautiful.
I am another Gruffalo hater, my girls like it but I find her style of writing incredibly predictable and tedious.
We don't do Mr. Men! They are violent and far too convoluted. Both my daughters lost interest 1/2 way through.
The Tiger Who came to tea was very popular here a few months back, my two will pretty much read anything but I am harder to please. Has anyone read The Dancing Tiger? That's another with truly beautiful illustrations.
We were given the entire collection of Beatrix Potter, they are all still in the loft, I find them rather twee and annoying.
Barbarian - you're right - I do star in a girls' series. However, I am a different species. I'm non-nonsense, trilingual, stiff-upper-lip and I will marry a stern but kindly docor and save my school from the Nazis! I have no time to skip amongst the toadstools.
And I will add that I strongly dislike having to read Mrs Pepperpot out loud.
And for my son, I am onto reading aloud Harry Potter No 5. It makes me want to weep. It's so utterly tedious to read every word of every longwinded sentence describing every irrelevant detail. It's made me realise how good the first HP was compared with the later drivel.
The Dancing Tiger is fabulous. My DD cries and cries at it and then begs to read it again. It's really lovely. The Tiger Who Came To Tea is also wonderful - has been entertaining DD now for well over a year.
God save me from kids books! I don't mind spot or the 'thats not my...' series as at least they are readable with half your brain open.
I CANNOT stand thomas - they are practically unreadable. Convoluted story, no rhythm and my 4 yr old loses interest after the 2nd page.
Gruffalo is OK but then I end it half way through "oh look, oh no, silly little mouse didn't you know? there IS such thing as a gruffalo"
I adore "good night little grog" and "there's a shark in the park" and I'm actually quite fond of a series of digger/truck/train/aeroplane books DS was given. I'm a big fan of rhytmic and rhyming prose as it makes it so much easier to read alound.
I also like (nostalgia) Goodnight moon, each peach pear plum, and any shirley hughes.
I bin books frequently, pet peeves of mine are rhyming prose that doesn't rhyme or scan easily, TV spinoffs and moral stories which are nauseatingly PC.
oh - just remembered - don't talk about the Bartholomew bear books - what a waste of money those were!
Shark in the park is great, my daughters are big fans of Nick Sharratt, I don't mind Julia Donaldson when she writes for him, and I do quite like Sharing a shell...
I don't really like the Felicity Wishes books, fortunately my two are digger obsessed so they don't get much attention. Has anyone dealt with Lettice the rabbit? Urgh, the stories would be better if the drawings were different but on the whole they are rather twee and infuriating.
The new Pooh stuff is hideous, and has anyone read The Grouchy Ladybird by Eric Carle? I was not best pleased when I read it to my then 2 year old - all about a ladybird who wants to fight! In fact whilst I think his art work is amazing the stories are generally quite pants, the hungry caterpillar is far too succinct at the end, the beauty of the transition gets lost.
Now I'm going to get a life and go to bed!
That is not how I remember you, Madam (curtsy). Possibly you did not skip around toadstools, but there was a good deal of merry ringing laughter and girlish grace if I recall. And surely the Robin had wings?
Jolly well done, marrying that doctor though. Just what the school needed (it was a death trap).
ooh a books thread goody!
i think it is really important you enjoy what you're reading. i have never got the thomas books and why some people love em - even te pictures are wierd. mr men are hard going but i can see why dd likes them - i love the pictures myself.
bloody princess books especially disney ones.
I just refuse (politely!) to read ones i don't like and offer a different one instead - good incentive for her to learn to read herself!
miffy is fab, cheerful pics and they're so short (great bedtime books)
and i really enjoy dr seuss - great rhythm so you never get bored of reading them
nobody's mentioned richard scarry! they're brilliant but i can't just can't get the hang of reading them out loud- dp does a much better job. very funny with visual gags and a bit of deliberate understatement for the grown ups!
my current fave is called 'there are cats in this book' - brilliant if you can get 'in character'...
will be when she doesn't want us to read her stories anymore..
Some Mr Men books are OK (I quite like Mr Mean, for example) but some are dire.
We only have one TTTE book in the house and I manage to keep it hidden.
I also hate those Disney "story of the film" books. They are dull and badly written with no feeling for interesting vocabulary.
But the worst children's book ever is Freddie Meets Freddie by Chris Cowdrey. It's a cricket-themed book about how a cricket ball named Freddie gets separated from his owner, gets to meet Freddie Flintoff, and eventually makes it home. DH got it as part of a freebie bag at some sporting charity thing. It is dull. It is very badly written. And it is loooooong. It goes on and on and on and on and on in its dull, badly-written way until you would do anything -- anything -- for it to stop. It is longer, I wager, than reading all of the Mr Men and Spot books one after the other. My word, it is terrible. Really. Even if you are reading this post and agreeing with me that it sounds boring, you have not even begun to grasp the outer limits of dreadfulness of this book.
You can pick it up for 42p used on Amazon, if you'd like.
I have just noticed that there is a sequel. I am not sure that I want to live in a world where things like that happen.
I am with all those who loathe "bear hunt" - bare cunt more like.
also that's not my ..... total bollocks and does not seem to be very entertaining for the under 3s either
on the other hand, Stick Man is much more like it [and no, I have never shopped in Boden ....!]
Dissension among MN ranks but we like Mr Men - but not Little Miss which are terrible, were those actually written by him? Also have to confess to having a Mr Happy original drawing by the man himself saying 'hello Heated' - in the downstairs loo
Astroboressaurs, Steve Cole... kill me now if I have to read another one!
I read Bear Hunt to whole classes of infants and they love it because they can all join in.
That's why I like Bear Hunt because the repitition means they join in and it's interactive rather than me just reading to DS.
Very often books that appeal to adults are not the ones that appeal to DCs.
I find it best to let them use the library and have a free choice.
Loving this thread, as I've just started serious amounts of reading with a suddenly book-obsessed 13mo DS, and I'm discovering how dreadful some books are (but fortunately many wonderful ones too).
I loathe That's Not My... Why is it that the one at the end, which should be the best in the book as it is 'mine' is invariably crap? I'm particularly thinking the puppy one where there is a fabulous shaggy-eared puppy on about page 3 which is rejected for one with a not-very-squashy squashy nose. Sigh.
I already can't bear tv tie-ins like INTG which are clearly just about making as much money as possible. Books should be about learning to read and love literature but they seem to increasingly be used as a relatively cheap way of getting kids obsessed with a character so that parents/family/friends then go out and spend a tonne of money on the more expensive toys, DVDs etc. Aaaargh!
Ah, HQ, but the underlying message of the That's Not My... books is hence that you don't need to be the best/prettiest/most attractive to be loved and valued. That puppy may not have shaggy ears or a rough tongue, but he and his squashy nose are loved and valued for themselves. The implications of this are probably terribly good for building a child's self-esteem and knowing they won't get traded in for a child with curlier hair or less of a propensity for getting poo on the curtains.
[just possibly overanalysing this a trifle emoticon]
portandlemon: poo on curtains? it sounds likes you may have experience of this.
to overanalyse even more, I think my problem is not the relative merits of a squashy nose versus shaggy ears per se, just that the nose wasn't very squashy, whereas the other puppy's ears were spectacularly shaggy. The not-so-squashy-nosed puppy probably had other attributes that were far more lovable and endearing but the author decided not to highlight these, or had already used them earlier in the book, so the poor puppy at the end is completely short-changed and the child then thinks "gah! i want the shaggy-eared one actually"
Or maybe it's just me wanting a shaggy-eared puppy and my DS couldn't give two hoots.
PortandLemon poo on the curtains
Luckily mine never liked the Disney books or TV tie ins-I didn't refuse to read them, but they are difficult to read aloud and consequently quite boring to the DC.
I much prefer something like Bear Hunt where you can have fun with it, use lots of expression and get them to join in. I used to read to my younger brother when I was about 9 or 10 and I realised from that that they love lots of repetition, and he liked the same book over and over again and you couldn't miss out a single word or he put it in! My DCs were similar.
I love Winnie the Pooh but I think that you have to be older to appreciate the humour.
If you want your DC to love books I think you have to go with what they like and not what you think they should like. I actually hate The Elephant and the Bad Baby, mentioned earlier, but my DSs loved it.
We hate Spot Mr Men and TTE but they do put kids to sleep - maybe that is why they made them so boring. Our only spot book accidentally slipped down the back of the bookcase our of reach. It was about a picnic. I can't remember why i hated it so much now.
There are some vile books about the Little Terrors, kids at a primary school, they succeed in being complicated with thousands of characters AND mind-numbingly dull. I have just given the ones we have to a jumble sale so some poor other sucker well-meaning parent will have to endure them.
Love, love, love the Babar stories though some of them are virtually novel length. And Shirley Hughes is a genius
Thomas - boring, boring, shite. As for TTTE 2009 annual, it makes me want to slip into a coma - the stories are sooo tedious! Luckily DS now into Gruffalo so the Thomas book has disappeared!
I bought level one of the ORT and was shocked to discover there were no words! I should have done more research but figured any learning to read scheme would involve, um, reading!
I do think that the touchy-feely books have a very limited appeal. My ds did like the That's Not My...books, and still occasionally gets one out, but is a bit lost after a couple of pages because they are so simple. And agree with HolidaysQueen about the characteristic often not being accurate, which I too find really annoying - particularly squashy, that never seems to actually be squashy!
I know this is supposed to be a thread about awful books, but can I just mention a truly fabulous book that we discovered at the library completely by accident? It's called "Bingo, The Best Dog in the World" and it's by Catherine Siracusa (Author) and Sidney Levitt (Illustrator). It's out of print now, and I believe it's actually a learning-to-read book, but my ds adores it and it was the first book with a proper story which he would sit down and actually listen to. Has anyone else heard of it? We love it so much, I bought a second-hand copy of it over the internet and had it sent over from the USA. It's very, very simple and yet there is something so appealing about both the story and the illustrations.
Hmmm, maybe we should have a thread about fabulous books that our dcs love - but not the obvious ones that everyone knows, a sort of word-of-mouth fab books thread!
Spot is dull but my pet hate when DD was young were the Topsy and Tim books. These are so incredibly boring. The only levity we got from them was when DD got one from the library called "Topsy and Tim get itchy heads" (i.e. they caught nits) and DH and I had fun making uo similar titles for horrible things that might happen to the wretched T+T
Mrs Dinky and SomeGuy: I think the Oxford Reading Tree books are v good actually. Plenty of humour in them even for kids who can only read a few words. When DD was in reception they had the ORT series and another series with a king, queen, baby, big guard and little guard. Now they were stupefyingly dull. No wonder I have fonder memories of Biff and Chip when contrasted with those.
For those who ahve said you should read whatever your children want you to read....
Once DS can read he can chose his own books, whilst I have to sit and read to him at night he gets an edited selection!
I can veto 2 of his 3 choices if I don't like/feel up to that book tonight, if his third choice is something I hate I grit my teeth and read it. Mind you books I really loathe get disposed of pretty quickly.
I've no problem with simple or repetative prose but there are sme books out there written for kids which are just plain bad! badly written, bad messages, badly illustrated, boring etc etc. Why would I expose me and poor DS to them?
halia, I'm with you there. And I've told DS that when he can read, he can have Mr Messy as often as he wants. <evil>
It is very easy to edit out the bad-they are difficult to read with any expression or enthusiasm and DCs can work it out for themselves. Good books are a pleasure for all-they don't really know it is a good book until they experience the bad. I all for free choice which turns into natural selection.
It is very easy to edit out the bad-they are difficult to read with any expression or enthusiasm and DCs can work it out for themselves. Good books are a pleasure for all-they don't really know it is a good book until they experience the bad. I all for free choice which turns into natural selection.
Mine actually wants to choose a book, then look at the pictures and make up her OWN stories. Is that bad or good?
Karabadangbaraka, I had to laugh at
<My dcs have always loved badly written, impossible to read aloud ...
and also, am reminded of how young my grandnieces were when their mom first started reading the (my) Ransome books to them. Emily must have been no more than 4 -- still at the clothes-dropping age that year-- I remember her and her older sister in a big cardboard box with restaurant-sized kitchen spoons for oars, scooting each other across the long polished floor of the lodge where we have the Family Fall Feast and Funfest shouting "Swallows and Amazons Forever."
So many of the books we knew when the DS was small have been dumbed down and bowdlerized out of all reason. The original Thomas the Tank Engine books, for instance. The DS didn't mind a bit that they were Victorian in style and tone, the train detail fascinated him. And us, though after the first hundred read-alouds we began pleading for The Bee-Man of Orne or Higgledy Piggledy Pop! or ANYTHING but Thomas again. The Richard Scarry books of that time (long ago and far away in the early 70's) were packed with detail and mischief -- all cut away now. (DS especially loved the toilet in the boat in the transportation book)
My mother turned up her nose at Beatrix Potter as "sentimental" -- turned out she'd never seen a real one, only the Disney-ized travesties available in the U.S. Midwest in the 40's. As field biologists we were entranced with the accuracy of Ms Potter's observations (and pictures), when we discovered the Real Peter Rabbit et al., and still are. About as sentimental as the DS, who when we were in England used to eat his rabbit stew saying "and here's Peter Rabbit's foot..."
I'm with everyone on the scary Beatrix Potter with the roly poly pudding - my auntie used to do a terrifying Samuel Whiskers saying 'Anna Maria, Anna Maria' that still makes me feel funny...
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