The Giving Tree. Some moms cry their eyes out. My mom narrowed hers and taught me the word “sadomasochistic,” though it wasn’t until 7th grade until I learned what she meant by that. And she’s right. The tree is a mom, the boy is a son. I’ll stick with The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes for mother-child relationships, please. Ain’t nobody gonna be cutting me down to a stump and sitting on me. I’d much rather sit on the chair that my littlest bunny pulled out for me like a gentleman. I’m sure the grandbunnies will be well-behaved too.
Love You Forever. Similarly creepy with the stalker mother in law from hell.
Where the Red Fern Grows. Spoiler alert. You can’t go through pages upon pages of graphic dog getting torn apart by a wild animal and then expect a flower to make it all better at the end. Much preferred: Gordon Korman’s No More Dead Dogs. The dog doesn’t always have to die… sometimes you can have a roller skating chorus instead. (I also hid behind a post and read several chapters of The Once and Future King when I was supposed to be watching the Red Fern movie in middle school.)
The Rainbow Fish: Because blending in with the crowd is more important than having a sense of self. And nobody will like you unless you pay them to be your friends. (Or maybe it’s that sharing is good? But that would only make sense if there was some reciprocity.)
#2: I don’t really hate many children’s books… But… I remember when I was young and reading Amelia Bedelia
#1: No! Not Amelia Bedelia!
#2: Yes. I got mad at everyone involved in every story.
I thought that she must be actually mentally disabled to not know about figures of speech (Draw the curtains doesn’t mean with a pencil, you idiot) and I thought that if even I, a kid, knew these things, that an adult who didn’t was probably too dumb to live. Also I kept thinking she should have been fired instead of tolerantly laughed at. I seem to remember she made the nice house a huge mess through creative “dusting” and whatnot. I always thought she was stupid, and her employers equally so for not firing her. Even a KID knew what she was supposed to do, and she didn’t. It made me think that the book thought I was stupid to think this was funny.
Finding Amelia Bedelia amusing is tantamount to making fun of someone with a disability. They mess up because they just don’t know any better. It’s not their fault, but you shouldn’t hire them to clean if they can’t follow directions.
#1 You have a point. Oh, I feel so dirty inside now.
#2 I felt kind of insulted that I was supposed to find it funny. I was a weird little kid.
#1 (no comment)
What do you think? Are we over-reacting? Did you love any of the books we’re hating on? Are there any books that you also disliked growing up or that creep you out as an adult? Let the hate-mail begin!