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May 15, 2013


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This is my 2nd children's book comment this morning and it's only 7:20. :) I WANT to be a book snob but sometimes I get seduced by two little blue eyes to buy Barbie early readers (the worst).

My very least favorite book to read was "The New Baby" by Mercer Mayer, but I think it was mostly the illustrations I couldn't take. And I completely agree about the B. Bears. All the speech bubbles ruined the flow of the story, but my kids wouldn't ever let me skip them! Blech.

I don't read books aloud that I hate. Period. It's no fun for me and I don't do it. "You can try to get your big sister to read it to you," I'll say. "Or when you get big, you can read it yourself."

I also refuse to read aloud comic/graphic-novel type books. Even if they're really good -- and I acknowledge that there are some real gems in this genre -- I hate navigating the speech balloons. Can't stand doing that, so I won't do it.

It's one of those small areas where I-the-human-being-with-free-will-and-tastes-of-my-own puts her foot down, peeping out from the role of I-the-nurturing-mother-of-small-children. Like taking myself out for a quiet solitary breakfast on Saturday mornings, it's a petty luxury that helps keep me sane.

I don't buy children's books that I don't like but I do have books that I don't particularly care for in my house. They are hand-me-downs from my nephews and many of them are meant to help early reading skills. I have a fear, I think, that the books I like will not be as effective in allowing him to read easily since they are not designed for that. When I write this it sounds stupid. Maybe we are due for a purge.

I refuse to buy Disney/Sesame Street/Pixar based books. If someone else has bought it for my daughter then I will read them most of the time. The same goes for books that have those sound effect buttons. Can't stand those!

I will read most any book once, but every now and then a book will "disappear" from our bookshelves if they are too hard to read out loud (words don't flow) or if I find the subject very obnoxious. That usually happens if I find it too preachy or condescending.

I also tend to judge books by the illustrations, but I'm sure that will change as my daughter (5 yrs old) gets older. At this age illustrations are such a big part of her books.

I also don't like to buy books that are too "girly". But if she picks one out then I will buy it and read it.

I do not usually buy children's books that I have not seen at least a preview and prefer to the the entire book. If that makes me a book snob, fine, but I have to enjoy reading them!

I have only purchased one book ahead of time from an author reading at the school but it was on the recommendation of Robbie's teacher - and it has been a favorite. And the money went to the school, so I justified it. No pink hair ribbon though ;-).

I do, occasionally, buy children's books that I hate, but they are usually under $5 and they don't last long before being surreptitiously donated to the Library for their book sale. And I refuse to read them. That's what siblings are for.

When my oldest was a toddler there were books that would make me cringe as they were brought to me and eventually I tossed them out in favor of better ones. My general rule of thumb as to what qualifies as twaddle is if I am bored or insane by the end of the book, it's twaddle.

I won't buy lousy books. We have no space, I can't stand reading them, and kids deserve good literature. I can't stop other people from buying them for us. But I did hide Peter the Cruise Ship because I just can't do it.

NO. No, and I'm really sorry sweetie, but no. I am a book snob, and hey, some books deserve to be snubbed; but most important is that I read a lot to the kids, and I want to read more - and that only happens if *I*, the book snob, am enjoying the reading. Otherwise I start dreading their selections and skipping pages and sighing dramatically and nothing good can come out of that. (Also, like bearing, I have issues with graphic novels when read aloud. Mouseguard was an exception, but no re-reads there. )

I don't know if you would call me a book snob or not, but I will not read stupid books out loud to my children. On my list of stupid books:

Trademarked cartoon books (Disney, Sesame Street, Barney, Dora)

Fairy Rainbow Magic Books

Junie B Jones

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Anything else I deem odious and stupid.

They are welcome to look at these books and read them if they are able or can con a sibling into reading it. But I will not!

I do sometimes read the B. Bears if I can't talk them into something else even though I hate them. But my version comes with ample commentary about everything that is wrong about the behaviors in the book.

I'm not a mom, I'm an aunt. Since my nephews were born, I've bought any and every book they want. I give them gift cards, take them to the book store and they get whatever they want. Maybe if I was a mom, I'd feel differntly, but if it's a book and they want it, it's theirs. And now the oldest nephew has two kindles, and Amazon cards to supply them with books as well. They want to read and I'm happy. They are both avid readers. Or course age appropriate rules apply, nothing beyond their moral maturity.

Enjoying all of these comments! Thanks, everybody!

I'm simultaneously hypersensitive to charges of "stupid" and "twaddle" (since I know how much work and love goes into a lot of the books that get tagged with those labels, including the kind written by the man of my hearth who pays our rent writing licensed-character books) and all too aware that there ARE some just plain awful books out there. My writer and reader sympathies are often in conflict.

When it comes to read-alouds, I'll read my kids just about anything they ask for. I figure if there's something about a book that's gripping them, it's worth my time. I used to steer things toward another book if I didn't like the one being requested, but I've mellowed on that. They get to the great books eventually.

Of course you know I'm dying of curiosity about the book in your story! $20 is pretty steep! Hardcover picture book? What publisher? TOTALLY curious about the details of the author's arrangement with the school. Usually you get paid a decent fee for a school visit and the opportunity to sell some books is a plus. Children's publishing pays so poorly that a lot of writers rely heavily on income from school visits, and they fly all over the country working their tails off. I can't do that, can't leave the family very often, so it's been a while since I've had a feel for how many copies typically sell. I think writers usually do better with paperbacks priced under $10, and it's a courtesy for the school to send home a flier about the sale. Can be hard to know how many books to ship ahead to the school or lug in your suitcase. I've had it happen both ways--paid to ship books out but the parents hadn't been told, so no one had money & I paid to ship them back again (ouch)--or only lugged a few copies and found a classroom of disappointed kids clutching their precious dollars.

But I'd want a look at the book myself before I'd send money (especially THAT MUCH money! heavens!) in with my kid. :)

I give my kids a book allowance, especially around Scholastic forms. And I buy myself tons of books from the forms as well, so the canny kids tend to wait to see what I've circled before making their selections.

I'm very resistant to toy/book combinations, but I won't argue if it's in your budget. We also patronize the library a lot, and I bite my tongue when they pick drivel. Before they can read, we'd alternate picking books to read aloud, and I'd read stuff that I hated (I'm looking at you, Rainbow Fish), but I didn't reread 'cause I hate that.

I wouldn't have bought the $20 book, though.

Can one reply back to a comment? Is there a proper way to do that? Anyway, reacting to what Lissa said above: I think I confused two different reactions - a. this book is crap (content, or scansion, or pictures - any and all reasons), and b. reading this book aloud to you (particular child at particular age) is too challenging/frustrating/annoying to allow me to do it with any semblance of grace. Graphic novels fall into the second, obviously, but they're not the only ones.

Re: Rebecca's comment about buying books that are too "girly." My son has just turned 5 and for about a year he has been on a "boy" kick. Assigning things that are certain colors as a "boy" thing or a "girl" thing. He can't be bothered with girl things...with one giant exception.

About a year ago we went to an event where they were giving away free children's books. Which one did he pick, you ask? Disney Princesses. It's still one of his favorites and it makes me laugh (internally) every time he picks it up.

We homeschool using the Charlotte Mason method, so that probably answers your question.

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