In honor of banned books week, I decided to ban some baby books.
From our collection.
At least for the time being.
Please know that I very much believe in the freedom to read. If the bumper sticker on my car (pictured above) doesn’t prove this, then I don’t know what does. Though I don’t dare do the actual math, we may have spent billions of dollars on baby books and board books since our son was born 20 months ago: I am not ashamed to admit this. While we have cut costs in other areas, the writer in me is compelled to support authors, book stores, and the book industry. The handful of books we haven’t purchased? This is only because they are out of print. We got these from the library and have already read them at least 44 times each.
There could be a *few* exaggerations in the previous paragraph…the point is that there is a lot of reading going on here and a whole lot of love for books, so I don’t feel bad banning just a few titles. And by banning, I mean tucking them away in our guest room (a.k.a. hoarding room) for later reconsideration. Here’s what’s in there now:
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
Chill out, little dude. Take your aggression down about fifteen notches and stop picking fights. Maybe consider some deep breathing or meditation exercises and then try to have a calm conversation based on mutual respect. While the artwork in this book is beautiful, the testosterone is not. Of course, in the end, this feisty bug gets exactly what he deserves, i.e. swatted across the land by a huge whale, but last I checked, two wrongs do not make a right.
Instead, we are big big fans of Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?, and corresponding Panda Bear… and Polar Bear…
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess
Basically, the whole reason I birthed a child was so that I could read this book to him. I mean, green eggs! Green ham! And in all kinds of crazy locations! I can’t think of anything more silly or delightful. That is, until I read it as a mother of a toddler who is trying to teach her child the beauty of eating a variety of foods THAT ARE GREEN and make doing so seem like the ultimate eating party. Of course, the main character does eventually eat and enjoy the green eggs and ham but only after several pages of demonstrating how fun it is to reject them.
Instead: Dr. Suess’ Book of ABC, Oh the Thinks You Can Think, etc. etc.
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
If I have any say in this, and I’d like to think I do, my son will never ever see this book again. Once was enough. Because I know the power of books. And I know the power of suggestion. I don’t want my sweet, sweaty, cuddly little ball of love to get any ideas.
Instead: Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon, again and again and again for eternity…
How about you? Have you banned any books at your house?
(By the way, that bumper sticker at the top of this post is from the greatest independent bookstore in the universe where I worked for one blissful summer in 1994: Browseabout Books. Visit them in Rehoboth Beach, DE and tell Steve and Barbara I sent you.)