23 August 2010

Recommended reading

One of the best pieces of parenting advice I ever got was that any book written before the 1950s is OK for your kids to read without your previewing it. Anything after that may have problematic content (there's some historical reason for this I can't remember; decency laws or something). This isn't just for big kid books. I can't remember how many picture books we've brought home from the library that I ended up hiding for the rest of the week. Here's a great article on how children's books have changed to justify and laugh at what would have been considered bad behavior in ages past. I got a kick out of Frances being contrasted with Olivia--my grandma never approved of Frances. She put the bad in Badger back in those innocent 80s.

Olivia, in our house children don't talk to adults that way.

9 comments:

Gauntlets said...

Cheeky punk pigs have long been something of a problem around our house. :D

Leah said...

The Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney is a good one. The kid acts out, but there are consequences. Mama Llama is definitely in charge.

Katy said...

Wow! I wasn't impressed with Knuffle Bunny (just the first one) when my inlaws got it for my daughter, but I guess there's a lot worse out there. We still have the book. At first I thought I was overacting, but this article confirmed my initial suspicions(that look on Trixie's face when her dad realizes what was left at the laundry mat is sooo annoying)

We LOVE the Frances books around here (Mother and Father are my heroes--that exchange from Bedtime for Frances is classic: "then I will be out of a job?" "No." "Then I will get a spanking?" "Right." "Good night.") Actually, Frances and Ping were my daughter's favorites for 4-5 months. Perhaps she related to the spanking parts ("spank went the spank on Ping's back").

I only read books to my kids that I like to read. Sandra Boynton's board books (she has good meter), and Edward Ardizzone's come to mind.

Jody S. said...

Leah-
I think the cool thing about Llama Llama is Dewdney also sort of points out a parent's unrealistic expectations of a little one. I mean, come on, can we really expect a little kid that is awakened from his nap prematurely to endure clothes and grocery shopping with really long lines? And sometimes, maybe it is pretty scary to be upstairs in the dark all by yourself when you're that little --and Mama keeps not responding since she's talking on the phone.....

That being said, I don't know that I would handle that store tantrum as gracefully as Mama Llama. I'm pretty sure little Llama would NOT be getting any ice cream that day!

Can you tell I love the llama drama? My two year old was "reading" us from Red Pajama tonight--quite dramatically!("Him get two kisses on him hair")

Dakotapam said...

WE LOVE the Llama books here. My six year old still asks for them at bedtime.

I too will only read books that I enjoy reading. Hence, we are reading Little House books at bedtime until further notice.

Leah said...

Yes, perhaps the expectations are a little high (I'm not sure how old Little Llama is); however, I like the fact that, at the end of the day, the child is reprimanded for his bad behavior (and actually listens!)and the parent is the one in control of the situation.

Anonymous said...

I have actually thrown away kid books that people have given me because I would feel guilty if I gave them away and someone read them to their kids. They were that bad.

Also movies.
That Arielle little Mermaid was supposed to die not get a handsome prince. Death is certainly an appropriate end for a disobedient cartoon character. I never let my kids watch that movie. Maybe death is too good for her. Maybe she should get a Jonah deal where she is scared straight and humiliated.

Rachel said...

Here's another non-recommendation: "Up, Up, Down" by Robert Munsch. (You know, the guy who wrote the pop-favorite, "I'll Love You Forever") Anyway, this one should disappear from homes everywhere, too. In it, Munsch's heroine uses a limited vocabulary, uninspired language, and physical injury (to the adults!) to turn the parents' words against them. Cool! (That's sarcasm.)

I accidentally picked it up for a garage sale for cheap, much more than it's worth. Thankfully, my 6 month old won't notice that it is gone. This is why I wanted to start building our library before he gets too attached to books in general. :-)

Anonymous said...

Max und Moritz, nuff said.