In This is what happens when you homeschool, I shared a snippet from a devoted reader of Flooded Lizard Kingdom about a crisis in children’s literature. This reader has decided to become a guest blogger here, so I present her first post. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.
I let my children pick out their own books from the local library. I often detest what they pick because they [the books] are stupid or pointless or bad art or whatever. However, I feel they should have some control of expressing and investigating their own interests or even realizing that a great cover of a book does not necessarily mean a great book. At least I hope they figure that out some day.
Parker is a prime offender of the “books I hate” pickage. Actually, so is Posey and the only reason Fay doesn’t is that she doesn’t pick out picture books anymore. The other day, Parker picked out a book called Tail End Charlie. I didn’t even read it through before he took it home. I usually figure there are worse things in the world than reading a bad book. Sometimes, I page through them while they’re sitting on the floor and turn them in before we even read them.
Not this time. I just didn’t get to it.
I started reading the book to him the other day. It had something to do with the RAF and, frankly, made little to no sense to me and I didn’t think it would to any 5 year old. I asked him if it was interesting or if he was paying attention and he assured me he was.
I only read half because it was one of those evil books with way too many words and comic book like inserts with captions. So Henry [dad] was picked to finish reading it to him as a bedtime story the next night.
Henry also hated the book (he didn’t like the comic book font) but kept reading. He then got to the line “They found me in a pool of blood“.
It even had a picture (comic book style). This is a child’s picture book! It wasn’t in the older kid section or the non-fiction section or anything. It was in the little kids/parents read to them section!
The worst part was… I couldn’t stop laughing. I don’t know if I was laughing at the absurdity of this book in general or this line in a children’s book or what. Whatever it was, I laughed so hard, I cried. I couldn’t even talk.
And, due to my reaction, my children now think this particular line is the funniest thing they’ve ever heard. They commonly throw it out at random times and giggle and laugh hysterically. At least they weren’t traumatized. Until they realize what I was laughing about.
And to continue! Here was Henry’s favorite part. After the pool of blood (he was patched up), he met someone and it was love at first sight. And then “but that’s another story.” Hell, I’m not checking that one out! Who knows what might be in there?
Parker was looking at the wedding picture in the book. He mistook bridesmaids for additional brides and is now convinced that this bloody man (okay, he didn’t say that) married three women at the same time.
In short, despite the fun family moments this book inspired, I suggest you avoid it. Unless they make it into a board book.