Horrid Henry so, well, horrid(76 Posts)
DS is only 2.6 but was bought a box set of Horrid Henry books by a well-meaning Aunt.
He opened the gift and we said "they'll be put away for later" but he wanted to look and have one read to him. So we did. Mistake! Now he is obsessed with them and has already started saying "hate you" etc that HH says.
Anyway, it's easily fixed at this age as we've just hidden them all and he's forgotten about them. But the point was - they are bloody horrible books! I must be at my pearl-clutching best but Henry behaves in an awful way, with no consequences to his actions and always gets what he wants. Speaks to his parents/brother awfully.
I can't envisage a time that I want those books out of hiding!
Just want to make clear though that I never ban books. I might try to lure them away from Horrid Henry with the promise of a bigger and better book, though
I'm not one for banning books, and as a complete and utter bookworm as a child (and still now!) I love books and want to instill a love of reading into both my ds.'
However, my two LOVE Horrid Henry and I have to say I don't love the fact that they do, if you see what I mean.
Whenever they watch it, or read the books, the way they behave towards each other is appalling.
They'll squabble, blame each other for stuff, call each other names like "Worm" or say "smelly nappy baby you're not playing with me" which sounds funny, but seriously it's not when it's causing fallouts and resulting with them not playing nicely with each other!
The less Horrid Henry the better in my opinion. Easier said than done, though...
My dds loved HH when they were little and dh and I both thought they were funny. Yes Henry is rude and horrible but that's the point - extreme! Perfect Peter's behaviour is extreme too.
I also don't censor books. As wide a variety as possible. Censorship is a pointless exercise anyway because if your child is a keen reader there will be a day (earlier than you think) when it's no longer possible to censor. Some children just devour books.
I just don't believe in censorship of reading material. Ds primary school had a slightly odd head who stuck together the pages of an Oxford Reading Tree book, every copy, because it depicted children being naughty. I promptly got a copy and showed my ds, explaining the perils of censorship!
Kids know what they like and yes it is often what we wouldn't choose for them to like but you risk undermining they're autonomy and love of reading if you only allow them to read what's 'safe'
I agree that they are horrible but also great in equal measure. They are perfect for reading gluts in my experience but we do have a rule that they are independent reading because I don't like reading them.
Isn't it funny - I always thought that most children were a mixture of PP and HH and the author was so clever to have spotted this and drawn these 2 characatures (sp! late). I would be horrified if DS turned out like PP - he IS horrid! I feel HH is quite often misunderstood
I would never ban DS reading - I only hope that 1 day he will choose to read for pleasure as now at age 8 he won't.
To pull the conversation back to where it began, I always thought Perfect Peter was sneaky and manipulative at least as often as Henry was horrid.
I've never banned books, just like I've never banned my kids from seeing any particular friends. I did have to talk to DD about one of her choices though - a book called 'The It Girl' by Cecily something, about some impossibly posh American boarding school where impossibly rich and impossibly beautiful pupils spend all their time drinking, smoking, chasing the opposite sex and bitching about each other behind their backs. It did occur to me to wonder if the series was funded by drinks and tobacco companies. DD is only 11 and still has her head screwed on, so she changed her mind, of her own free will. I wouldn't have stopped her reading it though.
I think that Enid Blyton is popular, otherwise they would be out of print.
Enid Blyton is hugely popular now.All of my 3 are very different and all 3 have loved them and have friends who loved them.Very popular at school-The Faraway Tree,Wishing Chair,Amelia Jane,Mallory Towers,St Claire's,Famous Five,Secret Seven etc.Think we've covered the lot.
When I was about 8 we went on holiday with my grandparents, and I took an omnibus of Five Find Outer stories. When I'd been out just with mum and dad, I returned to the hotel room to discover my grandad had picked up the book in my absence and was a good way through it. I was mortified that he would have seen a book where someone was called fatty as it was so unthinkably rude!
I never got into secret seven. My favourite was the Five Find-outers. Though at calling somebody Fatty!
I don't think Famous Five hold much appeal nowadays anyway. When they were written there was very little children's literature, look at the range now. Kids can easily find something much more interesting. I always hated Secret Seven - they seemed very sinister to me, usually involving a man in a mac creeping around at night if I remember right.
They do have a point, but these are things that need to be talked about. I'm quite horrified at how awfully stereotyping they are, after rereading them recently. And in fact I would very much like my kids to read them so we can have a nice discussion about the issues. In any case they won't touch the bloody books. They say "we'll read them after HH, after beast quest (ie never), after how-to-train-your-dragon, after harry potter, after you-name-it"
I used to get uptight about attitudes in Enid Blyton but my DSs were rather pitying and their general comment was 'It's only a story, Mum, you don't have to take it so seriously!' I think they had a point.
Ah you see, I'd rather have the obviously bad behaviour of HH and his chums to the insidious racism and sexism of the Famous Five. But each to their own! My kids won't read FF ... yet ...
I dislike HH but agree at least if they're reading something that's progress. We went to the live show with friends before I'd become familiar with the content - truly dreadful in so many ways.
harrietspy I haven't gone back to Famous Five with DS for the same reason but we got a free CD and played it in the car. DS really enjoyed it; ruins, treasure, baddies. Excellent clipped accents.
When Ds was 3 the TV shows were banned as his behaviour took a turn for the worse. But actually he is 5 now and we are reading the books and he loves them but he gets that Henry is generally a bad egg now.
The books have a better tone than the TV programmes which seem to relish Henry being a horrible little shit.
I do have concern about reading Enid Blyton to my kids though, have had conversations after those about not wondering off on their own and how women do not have to stay at home and be men's servants!!
You wouldn't like our school some of you, DS came home with Henry and the nits as his school reading scheme book (he is 6).
I quite like them. Later we will find out if Henry's family liked their Christmas presents, I find them quite funny. I think it's hilarious that someone would ban HH and let their kids have Beast Quest, some of the violence in those is quite graphic! So it's ok to chop up an animal and have blood splurting everywhere but not to pinch the choccies off the Christmas tree!! I wouldn't ban any book but then I wouldn't read HH to a 2 year old, I just can't imagine that, my 2 year old has Spot and Night Garden books and Dear Zoo .
I just had library tickets for them when they were babies and they could choose their own. This is why I ended up reading lots of Thomas the tank engine to a 2yr old- looking back I am glad that I did- he got so much pleasure from them - it seemed unfair to veto them because I hated them.
Completely agree re different books for different ages (although I think you can't be prescriptive about it).
I think there is a big difference though between sheltering your children from certain attitudes or language or whatever under the age of 5 and lettin them read things themselves once they are 7.
I haven't just banned them, I just haven't pointed them out as possibilities and have steered towards other books instead. one of them asked why one of her friends liked them and I said that all children liked different things and that as she hadn't liked the TV programme she probably wouldn't and I thought they could wait until she was older.
To me as a child reading was about escapism and daydreaming so I personally don't see anything wrong with it all being roses and fluffiness when they are little. plenty of time for other stuff when they are that bit older and there is a huge difference in maturity between 4/5 and 6/7.
I have read this books to many a year 1 child. I have to say that the vast majority love them. Also the sat majority of children do not turn into mini HH characters after reading them. Pretty much every child I've read them too (which is several class fills) seem able to know that HH is naughty and don't copy. They may joke about it and role play but I haven't seen HH bein the cause of their naughtiness. Any who have had naughty spells - well, it's not HH's fault.
I don't know the tv programmes do much so maybe they are worse. But are they any worse than Dennis the Menace and the likes?
I have to say that if my mother got all worthy about books it made them far more desirable!
Banning books doesn't sit comfortably with me either. I had free choice as a child in the library. If my mother didn't like them it didn't matter- no one was asking her to read them! If they like HH that is all that matters.
Join the discussion
Please login first.