10 Things I Hate About Children’s Books


baby booksI love to read. I majored in English in college, focusing on critical analysis, briefly considering a career in editing. It has always been very important that my children love reading as much as I do, and so far, things are going according to plan. My soon-to-be second grader reads 3-5 children’s books or chapters a day, and my 18-month-old seems to be following in his footsteps, demanding that I read every book in her collection daily.

Many of the books I currently read multiple times a day are from my oldest’s collection, so it’s safe to say that they’re all memorized at this point. Some of these books are classics, and I actually still enjoy them. Some of them are basically torture at this point, and I feel like I’m slowly eaten alive by a hungry caterpillar. 

Here are 10 annoying things I hate about some of the world’s favorite children’s books that probably annoy you, too. Or will soon.

1. THE TELEPHONE in Goodnight, Room by Margaret Wise Brown

OK. So we all know this one. You probably received three copies of it at your baby shower. It’s a simple premise. A bunny lives in a green room with two cats, a mouse, and an old, uneaten bowl of mush (hence the mouse). We are introduced to a dozen objects in the room, and then we say goodnight to each of them. EXCEPT FOR ONE. Why does the telephone get the shaft? It’s literally the first thing mentioned! What did the telephone do to anger that bunny so? I guess we’ll never know. 

2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Max is acting up all day being ungrateful and loud and gets sent to his room without dinner. Instead of sitting there quietly thinking about how to be nicer to his poor mother, he imagines a world in which he gets to act even more wild and loud and even gets crowned king for his awful behavior. And he still gets a nice, hot dinner at the end from Mom because she is a pushover. (And I would probably do the same because he looks cute in that crown. I am weak).

3. Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon

Yes. It will because “d”s are easier for babies to say. Can you not rub it in?

4. Time for Bed by Mem Fox

A big part of reading to babies is helping to teach them words. When learning new words, we want to be consistent. So when Mem Fox gets clever with animal names to make sure everything rhymes, it drives me crazy. It’s a horsey, Mem, not a “foal.” And it’s a doggie, not a “pup.” Quit trying to confuse my baby.

5. Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi

…but do we really need the pictures? 

6. First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

Some of the words in here seem reeeeeally low priority. Also, “stacking rings?” That’s two words, Priddy.

7. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Absolutely not. My kid is tired after drawing one stick figure. And that toddler is not drawing an entire city with that one crayon. It would have broken after that first pie. 

8. Any flap book.

Cue the scotch tape.

9. Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman

That lady dog really likes hats. Why does that hat-hating dog have to be such a jerk to her?

10. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Just say no, Tree. Just. Say. No. 

Which children’s books drive you bananas? Let us know in the comments!

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