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Crap writing/rhyming in children's books

(21 Posts)
Anticyclone Mon 03-Aug-15 17:48:53

When you think about how many outstanding children's books there are out there these days, you would have thought that crap second rate rhymes had been consigned to history.

We were recently given a book called "Rhyming Stories" which trumpeted the fact that it was illustrated by Axel Scheffler of Gruffalo fame, but had no obvious writer. One particular page stands out as being so bad that if it had been written by a 12 year old, the teacher would probably be encouraging them not to be so clichéd! From "Lizzy the Lamb" It goes:

"She loves to play games
and jump very high,
As far as she can,
right up to the sky!"

I find it annoying that while children's books rarely skimp on the illustration, the publishers think they can just sling any old rubbish onto the page, and no one will notice as it's "just for kids".

Quite apart from the happiness it gives our DC, we all know the pleasure you get as an adult from reading out an expertly crafted rhyme.

Are there any other examples of terrible writing or rhyming for children our there? We need to be warned! grin

Anticyclone Mon 03-Aug-15 17:50:40

Bloody app!

Cliched (with an accent on the e) not Clichéd !!

ohthegoats Mon 03-Aug-15 22:34:54

Where the wild things are

No punctuation. Urgh. No idea how to read it.

ApocalypseThen Tue 04-Aug-15 11:47:59

I find the ones written by Julia Donaldson great the vast majority of the time, but some are completely dependent on a specific English accent to actually rhyme and really don't work with my Irish accent.

Scotinoz Wed 05-Aug-15 05:09:36

We had one out the library a while back about colour loving hamsters.

"These two hamsters love purple,
They have a grape, a something (can't remember what it was) and a dino named Durple "

FFS, don't use purple if you can't think of a real word to rhyme with it angry

HeyMicky Wed 05-Aug-15 06:18:43

I actually find Julia Donaldson lazy with her rhymes. No animal has ever dropped something 'politely', let alone three times. And Gruffalo's Child has some very odd sentence structures to get the rhyme to work.

Agree it's annoying, especially for those raised on A A Milne and Roald Dahl

RolyPolierThanThou Wed 05-Aug-15 06:22:00

Julia Bloody Donaldson.

Lazy rhyming, no considerations of accents, often sexist or disingenuous to fathers. The lazy rhyming gets to me. I have no idea why she is so popular.

Monkey puzzle, zog, stick man, the smartest giant in town...all utter crap, given to us but too unbearable to read.

Betsyblue Wed 05-Aug-15 06:30:41

I hate the 'scarf' and 'laugh' rhyme in Stick Man by Julia Donaldson. It's completely dependent on pronouncing laugh as laaaaarf which is just irritating. I determinedly stick to my normal pronunciation but it doesn't really work.

NotBeingRudeBut Wed 05-Aug-15 06:46:30

Agree about the 'scarf' and 'laugh' thing - it is also in The Smartest Giant in Town with a giraffe (gir-arfffff?) thrown in.

Somebody gave DD a book called Father Christmas Needs a Wee - I can't stand it. Story rubbish and rhyming dreadful.

HoggleHoggle Wed 05-Aug-15 06:59:54

I'm really not keen on Julia Donaldson either. Just bought Tabby McTat but the bloody thing is unreadable. I don't mind The Gruffalo, but overall I think her books are massively overrated and take up waaaay too much bookshop space.

WestleyAndButtockUp Wed 05-Aug-15 07:11:26

I thought the book 'Go The Fuck To Sleep' was such a brilliant idea, and brilliant title. And it is.

But the fact that the metre and some of the rhymes were off, meant that I never bought the thing.

They were so close to having a classic book!

MiaowTheCat Thu 06-Aug-15 08:21:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsColouring Thu 06-Aug-15 08:34:43

There are some absolutely terrible children's books out there. It's such a shame - no idea how some of them ever get published.

I like Julia Donaldson though.

Vanillaradio Thu 06-Aug-15 19:53:12

I am slightly puzzled by one of ds' books called The Fish. The fish in question is very sad because he is too small to get at the breadcrumbs a little girl throws into the water and the ducks get them all. The first few pages go on about how small the fish is. Then the girl falls into the water. He then carries her on his back to the shore! How does that work?

I like Julia Donaldson though, good job as ds is obsessed with "Tat", "Man" and "Gruffoo"

NorahBone Thu 06-Aug-15 23:25:00

I was always floored by the Jellycat cloth book about giraffes. Great book, but in my accent the ending was ruined by giraffe not rhyming with laugh.

Albaalba Mon 10-Aug-15 12:45:13

I recently bought a set of phonics books with rhymes in. They were awful - you had to read most lines 2-3 times to work out how to fit it in. Also those rainbow magic books are atrocious. They are really badly written - tons of adverbs and tags like 'she screamed loudly', and there is not internal logic to the universe. I hate them hate them hate them. My daughter, naturally, loves them.

Wheels79 Mon 10-Aug-15 13:57:08

I cope OK with the rhymes in Julia Donaldson most of the time but I cannot get Highway Rat to work.

ZebraZeebra Mon 10-Aug-15 20:31:52

I honestly think the Snail and the Whale is one of the worst offenders - it's so unreadable. And there's another book - The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water - which has the most lovely rhythm all the way through...and then just ends so abruptly with two short sentences that bear no relation to the entire book's rhythm at all!

nooka Mon 10-Aug-15 21:02:32

I loved the Whale and the Snail! It's gone into the grandchildren box smile Not so keen on some of her others though, never really understood the appeal of the Gruffalo for example.

I agree that there are some very rubbish children's books (or at least there were - my two are teens now!) I used to love picking books with lovely pictures and great words, but some of the things my children were given had to be 'lost' very very quickly. Small children's books need to be designed to be read aloud and enjoyed by the reader as much as by the child (even the 100th time!).

bigkidsdidit Tue 11-Aug-15 07:36:11

I love all the Julia Donaldson books but I'd never considered it as accent-dependent.

We have a dreadful one called Mouse and the moon made of cheese. Some of the lines are incredibly laboured. I change it as I go along. Surely an editor should have done that!

Penguin13 Tue 11-Aug-15 12:37:33

I was disappointed with the rhymes/writing in the personalised 'boy/girl who lost his/her name' books. Such a shame as with just a touch more care and attention they would be really special. The illustrations in them and the idea is lovely but let down by poor writing I thought.

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