Like most toddlers, Mazzy likes books. All books. If she had her way, at bedtime, I would read every book she owns. And probably a few more than once. But since I will only read three and I despise a large majority of the options, book selection becomes of utmost importance to both of us.
I find myself PRAYING that Mazzy will not pick certain books. Books that I have literally fallen asleep in the middle of reading. Books that I suddenly remember I meant to give to Good Will but are still sitting scarily within reach on the shelf. Books that make me want to cut bedtime routine short, dump Mazzy in her crib and run out of the room screaming.
THE SIX BOOKS I WANT TO THROW OUT MY 12 STORY WINDOW ONTO THE STREETS OF NYC WHERE HOPEFULLY THEY WILL GET RUN OVER BY NUMEROUS CARS AND BUSES:
1) Maisy Goes to Preschool, by Lucy Cousins
We only have one book from the "Maisy" series but from what I understand, they are all exactly the same, i.e. they could be written by a second grader. Scratch that. They could be written by a second grader while he/she was simultaneously eating dinner, watching television and solving complex math equations.
If you are unaware of Maisy, she is a rat. And not a very cute rat at that. The book goes something like this:
Maisy goes to preschool. She hangs her coat. She draws pictures. She plays in the playground. How busy she is! The end.
It's only saving grace is that it's short.
2) The Grouchy Ladybag, by Eric Carle
Remember the story from the '90s about the woman who had seizures every time she heard Mary Hart's voice? That's me and "The Grouchy Lady Bug". The tiny type that continually gets larger, the weirdly cut page slivers, the word "aphid", those miniscule clocks, the sometimes black on black writing…
I literally have a physical reaction. The book makes me want to jump out of my skin. Seriously. My heart races and my head feels like it's about to explode. You think I'm exaggerating but I'm not. There is sweating and heart palpitations. It is trying to kill me.
Plus, any children's book that makes it difficult to stack other books on top of it (it's thicker on one end than the other like a looseleaf), deserves to be out of print.
Secondly, I never know what to do when I am reading a book out loud and all of a sudden a page has no words on it. And Runaway Bunny has no words on every other fucking page. Plus the pages with words have tiny boring black and white illustrations while the pages with no words have full color bleed illustrations and I'm forced to say things like…
"And now the baby bunny is shaped like a sailboat and the momma bunny is shaped like the wind and she's blowing the baby bunny's ears because they are acting like the sails on the sailboat that as I previously mentioned is made out of the baby bunny…"
4) Little Red Riding Hood, illustrated by Jane Dyer
This story is just straight up weird. Even my two-year-old wouldn't confuse a wolf for her grandmother just because he was wearing a sleep bonnet and glasses. And this passage totally disturbs me every time:
"The woodcutter caught the wolf and killed him. He quickly opened the wolf's stomach— and out climbed Grandma alive and well!"
Do you know what they do next? They sit down to eat!
And call me crazy, but on the last page, the woodcutter totally looks like he's about to get lucky with Grandma. Little Red Riding Hood is bright red, looking straight at us, silently screaming— "GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!!"
Plus none of the books make any sense, the grammar sucks seemingly on purpose and A. A. Milne has no clue how to effectively end a story.
I actually called my mother to tell her how much I hated Winnie the Pooh and asked why I don't remember reading the books as a kid. She said because she also can't stand Winnie the Pooh and I have never felt so close to her in my life.
6) Eloise, By Kay Thompson
First of all, the book should be retitled as "Shit Rich Toddlers Say". Eloise is a spoiled little shit that I would want influencing my two-year-old just as much as a drug dealing teenager.
Secondly, it feels like the longest book in the history of ever. Like the "War & Peace" of children's books. It's like a cruel joke played on parents who just want to get bedtime over with so they can complete a two hour episode of the Bachelor before they fall asleep.
Thirdly, it is written in the voice of a six-year-old so it has no cadence or rhyme or grammar that hangs together whatsoever. I stumble over words like I just recently learned to read.
I made it through the book exactly once before I threw it behind the bookshelf entirely.
Hopefully, "Maisy" will find it and eat it.
She's back there, too.
Alright, your turn. What children's books can you absolutely not stand?