3 children’s books I’ve banned

READ Broweseabout Books bumper sticker

Please know that I very much believe in reading and reading with kids. I think the bumper sticker on my car (above) adequately proves this.

In fact, though I haven’t done the actual math, we may have spent billions of dollars on books since our son was born. While we’ve cut costs in other areas, the writer in me is compelled to support authors, book stores, and the book industry. We also take lots of books out from the library and have, to my horror, mangled a few along the way.

The point is that there’s a lot of reading going on here and a whole lot of love for books, so I don’t feel bad bashing just a few titles. Here are a few I have banned from our house:

The Grouchy Ladybug 2

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 attempt a calm convo 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

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. 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(image source)

If I have any say in this, and I’d like to think I do, my son will never again see this book about a bunny who runs away from his mother. 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? What beloved kid books do you dislike?

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19 replies

  1. We have banned any Caillou books from our home. The little kid is just so annoying and either gets what he wants by whining or throwing a tantrum. That, plus it’s just plain creepy that at 4 years of age is as bald as he was as a baby.

  2. my kids are 49 & 46, & I can still recite Green Eggs & Ham from memory! thanks for the plug; we still put Edith Wharton’s “Summer” in our beach reads section

  3. So bad are some books I used to ad lib mid read to make them better. And then put them in my donation pile in the basement never to be seen again. I also went so far as to pre read as she for bigger. Bad kids books abound. Love the postβ™‘

  4. Can we please add “Noisy Nora” to the list too? I was halfway through the book and really liking it until Nora’s sister calls her dumb. My 2.5 YO can’t unhear that word and resists my insistence that “silly” is an adequate synonym. :/

    • oh yikes. will steer clear of that one. Thanks for the heads up.

      If only there were a rewind button in life…I have to wonder this way too often.

      A little book we got from library (I think they were some classic rhymes) said an elephant was fat…didn’t think we needed to learn that word yet. 20 m.o. didn’t latch onto it, but didn’t read that word the next time around πŸ˜‰

  5. Ha ha! I’m with you on Runaway Bunny. And I wasn’t so sure about Green Eggs for the same reason but Nora is OBSESSED with it and has started to memorize it! I think she thinks the grouchy guy is funny. But she also says “I like green eggs and ham whenever we read it” so she might be old enough now to get it. I find myself skipping over certain words when I’m reading books too– didn’t know others did that too. πŸ˜‰

  6. I only banned (i.e. set aside) books that I had to read 500 times in a row. My first child had a ready-made collection of over a hundred children’s books when she was born because I still have my childhood favourites as well as others I have collected over the years. I too worked in a bookstore (as I may have mentioned before?) and the staff discount was my Achilles heel!

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