Grin & Bare It Books

     I am a HUGE fan of children’s books.  I could seriously hang out all day long in the kids’ section of Borders and be as happy as a green fly on shit. There are just so many unbelievably cool selections, and I never fail to find yet another awesomely funny new one when I browse the shelves.  However, as with anything in life, you gotta learn to take the good with the bad, and my kids have added more than a few less-than-stellar choices to their own personal libraries.  And, unfortunately, I’m often stuck reading these horrendous tales over and over and over again.

     Take for instance the “David books” by David Shannon, which I’ve grown to detest.  Why you ask?  Well, here’s a picture of young David:

Let’s be honest, people, does David not scare the holy shitsticks out of you?  First and foremost, the kid is practically bald and reminds me just a wee bit too much of Caillou. Then there’s the fact that his randomly placed teeth look like friggin’ candy corn, not to mention the huge disparity in his leg symmetry.  I mean, does he have a wooden leg or what?  Multiply that by his snout-shaped silly putty nose stuck to his absurdly circular face, and you’ve got yourself a first class freakshow.  I think he’s been the star of one or more of my nightmares.  And if his looks weren’t enough to make your arm hairs stand on end, then David’s ability to get his little ass into trouble on nearly every single page will certainly make you appreciate your own pain in the pooter kids a little bit more.

     Another book series my kids really dig but that makes me absolutely cringe are the “Junie B. Jones” books by Barbara Park.  My kids really like them because they’re written from the perspective of a first grader in a very basic language they can totally understand. However, because they’re written from a seven year old’s point of view, they often make it seem like Junie B.’s behavior is completely acceptable when it’s anything but.  I mean, this chick can seriously be a real bitchhole.  Just look at her and tell me homegirl doesn’t spell S-A-S-S-Y in bold capital letters:

She’s always talking smack about this snooty girl named May in her class, yet she does the EXACT SAME kind of shit as May, making her a total freaking hypocrite.  She mouths off to her teacher and sometimes even to her parents.  I mean, come on, WTF kind of example is she?!  My kids laugh and giggle throughout the book, while I find myself constantly stopping and telling them that they’ll be kicked to the curb if they decide to act like Miss Junie B. 

     And then we have the “Skippyjon Jones” books by Judy Schachner.  I am 100% convinced that you have to be baked out of your damn mind to read and understand these crazy stories.  I swear, no matter how many times I read them to my kids, I honestly have no earthly clue what the hell’s going on in them.  I think, but I can’t be certain, that they’re about a Siamese cat who believes he’s a Chihuahua.  What I do know, though, is that Skippyjon Jones looks very much like a bobblehead doll that could perhaps be found on the dashboard of Cheech & Chong’s stoner van.  Go ahead and check him out for yourself:

Can’t you just picture him bopping up and down in a hazy cloud of smoke?  I’ve put these tripped out tales in the category of books that Papa Nuckingfuts gets to read.  He gets to use his Cheech Marin accent, and the kids get to laugh their heads off.  It’s a win-win situation for me. Divide and conquer, baby — that’s how we operate around here.

     Sometimes I think my kids’ favorite stories are the ones that I hate the most.  Those seem to be the ones we have to read twenty-five thousand times a week, torturing me with every flip of the page.  To be fair, though, my kids do have a ton of really amazing books, a few of which I plan to review in another blog post at some point.  So which of your kids’ books do you have to grit your teeth to read?


17 Responses

  1. “I Will Love You Forever” creeps me out. Can’t stand that one.

  2. I can completely relate to the SkippyJonJones books. I hate reading it because, let’s face it, this is a hard book to get the words out. It’s only saving grace for me is that I get to use my Cheech Marin voice like Papa Nuckingfuts.

  3. I too can’t stand “I Will Love You Forever”, and my son is is terrified by the David series!

  4. PMC,

    Come to think of it, you’re right. It’s depressing and weird at the same time.


    Been letting my daughter listen to Junie B. on CD and didn’t catch the attitude. Thanks for the tipoff.

  5. My husband has book duty at night with our 3.5yo while I put the 20mo to bed. She LOVED this one called Milliberton’s Christmas and he can not STAND it. Hates the story, thinks it really poorly written, etc etc. And of course she wanted it every night for weeks on end.

    Finally I put him out his misery and the book has been “lost” (ie moved into our closet)

  6. OK, didn’t read your post before I responded to your tweet… and am laughing because you wrote exactly how I feel about those AWFUL Junie B books…

    My mother sent me 2 series of books… about 10 of them … and I’m selling them at the next yard sale. Oh do they irritate me… and when my husband heard them, he cringed.

  7. I hate reading those books with the sound push buttons on them. My 2 year old of course loves them… I take the batteries out. 🙂

  8. I completely agree in regards to SkippyJonJones. My six year old loves them. I’ve only suffered through one Junie B Jones and that was about some stupid mittens. I have to say though, at least these books have some kind of “story”. I’ve read “Brown Bear” and “The Very Hungry Catepillar” to my 2 year old at least 50 times in the last week. My brain is turning to mush.

  9. I had to ban Junie B Jones because she had too much ‘tude for me. And of course my kid decided to EMULATE Junie and I had to put the kibosh on that.

  10. I agree with you 100% on all the books above- too snarky, too bad and too insane. I however, do love the Magic Treehouse books, but the audio books are freaky…

  11. OMG I am LOL because I have the same feeling about all of these series. Quite frankly, I think they’re badly written. But who am I to argue with my daughter who read every single one of them at seven and my son who is now following suit? Arrrrgh. I too have a wide range of reading material is our house, but they gravitate to the same thing much of the time.

    Laughing though. And will now have ‘something’ to smile about next time I’m listening to the bratty Junie B Jones and her latest adventure. : )

  12. Busy Town books. The cartoon show is endured, the books, I hate.

  13. Deanna,

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one that thinks those audio books of MTH are weird. It’s the singing part. And just because she wrote them doesn’t mean she’s the best one to read them.

    I also don’t like the idea of the kids being influenced by Morgan LeFay, a traditionally evil character.

  14. I am just learning to despise Junie B. It’s not the story in and of itself, it’s the pathetic grammar that they use to try to make it seem “real” and I have to keep pointing out is NOT the proper way to speak. rgggh. My just turned 4, going on 14 yr old needs no encouragement in the sass dept. either. lol. PS I thought I was the only one who thinks David is totally scary lookin’…
    Love your blog! Love your style!

  15. Omg….I LOVE Junie B. We have most of the books. My oldest was (read is) the Sass-Master and the Junie B. Jones books were like a little mirror to show her how stupid she was acting. We just laughed at her….we love Ramona too. 🙂

    If you want cute stories while trying to teach your kids some manners, try the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. I adore them.

  16. Hey Mama!

    I so enjoy your tweets I had to lurk, er, check out your blog diggety! Agreed and agreed on Skippy John. Just what in the fresh hell is going on?

    • You can lurk around here any time you’d like! Especially if you wanna join me in bitching about something as annoying as Skippy Jon Jones…. 😉

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