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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: 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)

wouldn't the proper response be "from a good partner"?

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

OK OK, so *I* wouldn't want to talk about that.... ;-)

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

(peeking in because I can't resist now that three of you have perpetuated this - your kid's going to be SURROUNDED by multiple organisms, you know. :) Nothing you can do to keep them from knowing about it, from about his age onward!)

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)

Is it bad that I thought of you guys?

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

Hehehe!

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

yes! *horrified*

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

Um, I hope no-one really thinks we'd actually discuss things like that with her. We are open and honest, (and I tend to be too scientific to where her eyes glaze over), but we're certainly age-appropriate as far as sex information.

Bob: Mama, where did I come from?
Me: Well, Sweetie, when someone wants a baby, the sperm and the egg...blah blha blah...and the babies grow in the woman's uterus, and then they come out of her vagina, and that's how you were born.
Bob: Mama! What *city* was I born in?

Heh.

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)

Yeah, definitely. You see the theme of "children shouldn't be allowed to read about real life" in a much more dangerous context later on when adults start censoring their high school texts and the books that libraries carry. Pro-censorship adults have an idea that kids will never learn about the seamier side of life if they don't read about it. So they make concerted efforts to ban books that address exactly the issues that their kids are facing in everyday life. To pick an extreme example, a book came out last year about teen blow-job parties - i.e., parties at which girls go down on multiple guys and each guy gets a blow job from each girl. Inappropriate for kids? Absolutely! The problem is that the author didn't make these up. The book attempted a realistic take on the parties and actually wound up being a rather ham-fisted morality tale about why these parties aren't cool. I'm not saying that book should be on school curricula, but parents were up in arms and trying to get it banned from libraries all over the place. Meanwhile, the kids are having these parties instead of reading about them.

Basically? Denying the reality of things that you think shouldn't exist doesn't actually make them not exist.

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

All kidding aside, (no, I didn't really discuss orgasms with her!), I totally agree. We just had the where do eggs come from conversation last night and now she wants to go somewhere and lift up a chicken and look at its vagina to see where the eggs come from. (Do chickens even have vaginas?) We've talked about where meat comes from before, though I don't think she really got that we were saying steak comes from killing Bessie. And we did have to deal with death pretty early on. She was 2.3 when my grandmother died.

And of course, now, we're getting the where do babies come from thing. We've just answered her questions with as little detail as possible, which I think its good for her age. And we have a couple books with illustrations. So far, she hasn't asked how the sperm gets from the daddy to the mommy's egg, and we havne't volunteered that.

But yeah, what's with sugar coating life for kids? It's not reality and they're going to be pretty disallusioned when they actually see what the world is like.

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

I read about that stuff in a biology textbook when I was 5. I then proceeded to tell the other neighborhood kids all about it. Cries of outrage from one mother (who was a nurse!) were met by, "Well, at least he's telling them the right names for the parts!"

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

Yeah, if you're going to spread titillating information, it might as well be *correct* titillating information.

When I was in second grade I was told by a gleeful first-grader who fancied himself very knowledgeable that he had looked "sex" up in the dictionary and the definition was "doing the wild thing!" He accompanied this with some random hip gyrations. So for years I thought sex meant kissing, and that kissing was therefore as dirty as he was making it out to be. Thankfully, in third grade a friend cleared up for me that sex was actually when you planted a seed in a woman's bellybutton, so it was all okay.

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)

I totally agree with everything you've said here, and (as I think I've said before) it's the existence of parents like you that I find a refreshing and hopeful sign for the future, as opposed to the nitwits who think if they can't read about it they can't do it.

incidentally, chickens have a cloaca - urine, feces, and eggs all emerge from a single orifice, which is also used for [what passes for chicken] sex. No vaginas.

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

incidentally, chickens have a cloaca - urine, feces, and eggs all emerge from a single orifice, which is also used for [what passes for chicken] sex. No vaginas.

That's what I thought, but I didn't want to get into all that with the kid. This was a bedtime discussion and she was stalling, so I was trying to answer as quickly as possible so she'd shut up already and go to sleep! ;) And I still think it's funny that she wants to go find a chicken and lift it up. I believe her exact wording was "Mama, can we go find a chicken and lift it up and see the eggs come out of the vagina?" Heh. Lifting chickens. Kids are funny.

Heh. Chicken sex.

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)

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