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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: 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

Although I don't think that review fits in with the theme, as it actually makes sense (I am a proponent of the second view)

Also - "The Little House"

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

I don't know The Little House, I don't think - what is it?

I had a similar reaction to The Runaway Bunny, as that book just straight-up creeps me out. I eventually found a weird negative review that didn't address the issues that creep me out (OMG STALKER MOMMY) and instead blamed the bunny for being "uppity".

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

"The Little House" is about this charmingly anthropomorphized house which lives in a cute little town until that town is swallowed up by the city and the house becomes miserable. The house suffers through the years until it is removed to the country by the heirs of its original owners. Then it's happy again.

Honestly, it's white flight and exurbia in a cute kids' book.

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

uh, that was me.

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

I assume you mean the anonymous comment, instead of my comment. ;)

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

Did you see the one-star reviews for Love You Forever? Panties are all in a twist about stalker mommy in that one.

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

Oh my good lord. People need to stop being lameasses. The Giving Tree has always been one of my favorite book, it really touched me when I was little and still does and I've never met a kid who was badly influenced by it!

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

I reject the whole "kids will be badly influenced by it" argument, and yet, I agree with the second premise. I find it offensive for reasons entirely unrelated to children.

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