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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

March 29th, 2006 (11:58 am)
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People piss me off. A lot.

Instead of dealing directly with the specific person who is pissing me off in the moment, why don't I restore my mood to an even keel by going to Amazon.com and looking up asinine reviews of classic picture books, and posting them to LiveJournal for all to mock?

Say! That's a great idea!

* * *

THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK

Furry blue sub for hire

"This book is not suitable for children. In a "No Means No" society, should we be planting such ideas into the fragile, impressionable minds of the future. It concerns me that the first sentences some children read are strangely sadomasochistic. Really, throw a leather hood over Grover's head and put a zipper over his mouth and you're his instant dominatrix. So, keep this book hidden in your dresser drawer, or you might run the risk of making a fifty mile commute every Saturday morning to visit your little boy in the state prison."

* * *

GOODNIGHT, MOON

This just in: Children need no sleep

"The back flap says it has lulled children to sleep for generations. Can't see why you would want a book to do that."

* * *

THE RUNAWAY BUNNY

That bunny needs a beating

"I could not believe how uppity this bunny was. To be honest with you, this insolent little lagomorph shows no remorse whatsoever for the trials and tribulations he is obviously eager to put his (possibly unhealthily) devoted mother through. He ends up staying only because he realizes he just can't get away from his mom. I can't imagine letting my impressionable young daughter get away with this attitude!"

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

Eric Carle is responsible for my son's eating habits (not my parenting or anything)

"Rubbish. This book has seriously hindered my son's development. After reading the book to him religiously before bedtime, he now believes himself to be just like the caterpillar. He claims to be very hungry all the time. He is constantly eating, and is becoming noticeably heavier. Unfortunately in his case I don't believe that he will turn into a beautiful butterfly at the end!"

* * *

THE CAT IN THE HAT

The cat will kill you in your sleep

"Psychological Damage. Dr Seuss was an evil genius, bent on traumatising children. As a child, his books used to terrify me. Particularly The Cat in the Hat, as well as the sinister Thing duo. Unless you're children are aficionados of Stephen King, I urge you to avoid this title."

* * *

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL

Fairy tales are always happy all the time, and so would this one be if the little match girl would have just realized how pleasant the world is and gone home to get beaten and starved some more

"I couldn't believe it was in my nephew's book of fairy tales. Fairy tales are supposed to be happy. There was one specific sentence that shocked me..."The girl was found dead, frozen to death on New Years Eve". What kind of fairy tale is that. Sure she saw her grandmother and she's with her grandmother now, but that isn't the message that is conveyed in the story. I would have rather the girl wised up about going home with no money, realizing the world was a pleasant place to be after seeing the "light", as she struck all the matches she had."

* * *

ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY

Normal children are all sweetness and light all the time

"This book plays it off as if it's normal for children to be this negative. An extremely negative character and ugly grammar does not make a good children's book. I would give it no stars if Amazon allowed it. This is the worst children's book I have ever purchased."

* * *

GREEN EGGS AND HAM

Books shouldn't tell kids dirty things like where milk comes from. By the way, which book am I reviewing?

"A farmer is trying to teach children the basics of milking a cow and trying to show the kids were all of the animals body parts are. I think the book is ok because if the parents wanted to teach their kids about the milk producers than they can teach them by themselves rather than reading a book. What if you did not want your kids to no about that stuff yet, than they went to school and read the book than you really have a problem."

People are funny.

Comments

Posted by: Thorn (thornsilver)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
happy blob

You meant "People are as stupid as tree stumps", right?

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
zoloft blob

Something like that, yes. :)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
The Giving Tree

There are two extreme ways to interpret this book, as shown by the multiple ratings of 1 and 5.

The first: This is a beautiful and sad story of unconditional love between a tree and a boy, in which the tree is generous and gives of itself to help the boy whenever he is in trouble. The metaphor in this case is that of a mother and a child, or God and a human.

The second: This is a story of a very selfish boy and a tree who loves him. Whenever he is in trouble, he returns to the tree who gives him another part of her self without ever setting limits, even though it makes her sad (and physically damages her) to do so. In this case, you can compare the story to a metaphor of an abusive, codependent relationship.

I can understand both views of this story, but the fact that the second interpretation is just as valid as the first makes me hesitate to recommend this book. Personally, I would NOT buy this book as a gift, or for my own children. If I had this book, I would wait to read it to my children until they reach the recommended 10 years old (or at least 8), and then I would discuss the book and its concepts (selfishness, limit setting/saying NO) with them. "What did you think of this book?" "Do you think that the tree/the boy did the right thing?" "What would you have done differently if you were the tree/the boy?" "If you were the tree, would you have said 'NO' to the boy at any point?"

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
Re: The Giving Tree

OMG I can't believe I forgot The Giving Tree!

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
Re: The Giving Tree

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
Re: The Giving Tree

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC)
Re: The Giving Tree

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
Re: The Giving Tree

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC)
Re: The Giving Tree

Posted by: Erbie McInQuack (erbie)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC)

Posted by: carolyn z (carolyn_z)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
Re: The Giving Tree

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:04 pm (UTC)
Re: The Giving Tree

Posted by: Oriana (fairoriana)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
Grey looking

I'm raising a subversive. We have:
*THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK
*THE CAT IN THE HAT
*ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
*GREEN EGGS AND HAM

One thing I often wonder is when people will let their kids be exposed to things that aren't perfect and hunky dory. Are you going to let you kid find out about death for the first time when it's their grandmother? Are they going to be in fifth grade before they realize meat, milk and eggs come from animals and subsequently freak out? Should all their books be about well-behaved children who never have anything go wrong? What happens when you can no longer protect your child and they are actually exposed to the real world?

Then again, things do need to be age appropriate. You don't want to talk to your 4 year old about multiple organisms when they ask where they came from.

I guess it's a balancing act, and I just tend to lean towards the side of good literature and reality instead of strictly controlled inputs and an unrealistically idealized view of the world.

Posted by: Erbie McInQuack (erbie)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC)
beeker

You don't want to talk to your 4 year old about multiple organisms when they ask where they came from.

um... uh-oh...

Posted by: Naughty Librarian Lover (llnaughty)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Oriana (fairoriana)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:56 pm (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Erbie McInQuack (erbie)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Naughty Librarian Lover (llnaughty)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Erbie McInQuack (erbie)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 11:58 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Naughty Librarian Lover (llnaughty)
Posted at: March 30th, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)

Posted by: Claris (claris)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Naughty Librarian Lover (llnaughty)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Erbie McInQuack (erbie)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Erbie McInQuack (erbie)
Posted at: March 30th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Erbie McInQuack (erbie)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Erbie McInQuack (erbie)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:58 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Erbie McInQuack (erbie)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Erbie McInQuack (erbie)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Tasha Rebekah Martin (lietya)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC)

Posted by: ems (ems)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:15 pm (UTC)

Every time I see that icon, I just think "WASH!"

Posted by: halfacricket (halfacricket)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
A Boston classic...

Make Way for Ducklings:

Sorry but I fail to see what is so great about this book. I didn't like for one thing the mother duck's arrogant attitude that she's such an expert mother and her proudly parading her brood down the street oblivious to the trouble she is causing the drivers and the endangerment to her ducklings. Not a good example for children either is her intial attempt to cross a busy street. If the policeman hadn't been there she'd have been road kill. I think it would have been better if the ducks had been characterized as dumb animals instead of one's with arrogant thought processes.

And I didn't understand why they returned to the place where they could hardly get food except begging peanuts and nearly got run over by a little boy on a bike. And why did father duck take off? A strange book, so I plan to read it a few more times to see if I can get something else out of it.

The old-timey illustrations are detailed and interesting. Thus the three stars.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:26 pm (UTC)
Re: A Boston classic...

I love that that person has to read Make Way for Ducklings "a few more times" before s/he can be sure s/he's understood it. MAN.

Edited at 2009-06-10 08:01 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:36 pm (UTC)

I actually left out a good few that I'm pretty sure were jokes (though not absolutely sure.) These ones seemed to be pretty serious.

Posted by: carolyn z (carolyn_z)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)

And this is exactly why adults shouldn't review children's books. Because adults are too analytical, boring, and removed from life. These reviews are exactly why I have the little prince tatooed on my arm-- to remind me to check myself when I start acting too much like a dumb, miserable adult.

Posted by: Lara (perseph)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)

Hee! These are so funny that I woke the baby laughing. Oops.

But I wish I could thank the person who wrote the review of Goodnight Moon. I hadn't noticed what it said on the back of the book, but now that I have been made aware of the danger I will be more careful about reading it to my kids. I have to agree that as nice as it would be to have a long period of quiet around here, "generations" is really too long for a child to sleep.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC)

Oh man, I wonder if that's actually what the person was getting at. That's an excerpt from a longer review, most of which was all "this book was sooooo boring the pictures are stupid I hate this book". So I interpreted it as being in keeping with the silliness of the rest of the review, but now I wonder if the reviewer was maybe wittier than I, which makes me sad.

Posted by: Popcorn the Bearcat (agatha_mandrake)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC)
corset

My copy of The Monster At The End Of This Book must have been defective. Where is the fabulous career as a dominatrix that is was supposed to have fostered?

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)

Pending, darling, pending. Give it time, and maybe read the sequel.*

*Which is DREADFUL.

Posted by: Rebecca (theniwokesoftly)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)

I just loved the typos.

"Unless you're children are aficionados of Stephen King,"

"What if you did not want your kids to no about that stuff yet, than they went to school and read the book than you really have a problem."

Posted by: Obsessively opposed to the typical since 1987 (baroque_n_roll)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 08:25 pm (UTC)

If you like those, you should check out the reviews for the Family Circus books. High-larious.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: March 29th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)
elton muppet 2

This is apropos of nothing except the fact that I thought of you constantly when I was watching it - have you seen the episode of The Muppet Show with Elton John? Because if not you totally need to and I will burn you a copy and send it over.

Posted by: Obsessively opposed to the typical since 1987 (baroque_n_roll)
Posted at: March 31st, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)

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