Let’s just preface this post with, we love reading to our children, and I’m a total bookworm. When I was a kid, summer vacation was all about swimming, and then going to the library to get the hottest new Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, or Sweet Valley High novel. But now as a parent, the repetition of the same book over and over and over again at bedtime is becoming maddening.
Since our girls have inherited the love of reading, and one is now reading to us, here is the list of kids books that drive my husband and I totally and utterly bonkers.
kids books that drive parents bonkers!
1. Lift the Flap Books – I think these are a conspiracy from bookmakers. I’m serious. You buy the book and the flaps are usually destroyed in the first hour. And then you have to buy more…and it’s a vicious cycle. Of course the kids have to lift every single flap, so they take eons to go through. Our youngest also has to go back a page for something she missed that was vital to the plot. No thanks guys…I’ll stick to the fuzzy textured touch and feel books.
2. Barbie Books – Have you seen the Barbie movies? They’re not my favorite, but we have a few hand me down DVD’s. The books however are horrendous! At least the “I Can Read” series. It’s like they took the movie and condensed it to eight words per page, translated into sanskrit and back again by someone who is illiterate. They make zero sense and my husband actually asked me to burn them.
3. Little Golden Books – I get miffed at the length of Little Golden Books. I mean seriously, we’ve seen Tangled, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen eight million times…do we really need to rehash the plot before bedtime in 3,000 words? My friend Heather, who has a six year old boy, detests the super hero titles and their storylines. I’ll take her word for it and not introduce them into our home.
4. Anything Dora – Sorry Dora and your slew of fans…you are just too perky. And I don’t want to vamanos anywhere with you, Boots, or Tico. Though my toddler does adore you and backpack, I apologize for not sharing her affection. I hope your voice has changed now that you’re a pop star.
5. Noisy Books – What man sat in a conference room and developed the press the button noisy-ass books? I know it wasn’t a woman, because no mom in her right mind would want these in her house. If I didn’t have a headache after twelve hours with my kids, these books would put me over the edge. On a kinder note – they are great for independent playtime…but when mommy walks in the room wave bye-bye.
6. Goodnight Moon – I know it’s a classic, and I’ve read it 800 times. But when you can recite a book without even holding it…it’s time to move on.
7. Hop on Pop – Was Dr. Seuss hopped up on something when he wrote this one? Both of our girls imitated this book and learned to bite from the illustration above. This one goes in the donate pile…sorry to whomever finds it.
8. Where the Wild Things Are – Another classic and Caldecott Medal winner that has terrified both of our girls. This is one that we will save for when they are a bit older.
9. Eight Silly Monkeys – How many times is mama going to call the doctor? You’d think she (and her little monkeys) would learn not to jump on the bed. Or at least just text the poor doctor? The good news is our 2-year-old can now recite this one to us. Over and over….
I’m sure there are hundreds of kids books at there that we haven’t even read yet that are high on the annoyance scale. But let’s focus now on what we DO like! Check out our favs on Pinterest!
I totally agree with lift the flap books!! They are the worst. And I HATE that “I’ll Love you Forever” book… I can’t read it without crying!
Kristen Hewitt says
I’ve never read it Lauren but I’ll take your word and avoid it!
Echo A says
Ugh, the flap books and pop up books. No thank you! My daughter just wants to tear them apart anyway! Also, the books that have buttons that you have to push at a certain point in the story. I don’t want to hear a crackly, high pitched cow while I am putting my daughter to bed!
Jennifer - The Deliberate Mom says
I agree – lift the flap books are the WORST! I hate books that need “enticements” like this to be read. Why can’t we just have a really god story without the pop-up, flaps, sounds, and buttons!
I love Goodnight Moon – I could never let go of that one. The Wild Things Are is a personal favourite too – although I haven’t read it to either of my girls for fear of nightmare (as you’ve described).
I actually dislike all “commercial” books; Disney, Dora, Barbie, etc. I want reading to spark my children’s imagination, and foster their language development… not line the pockets of already huge toy and movie franchises!
Thanks for sharing.
Wishing you a lovely day.
The Brown Girl with Long Hair says
Go ahead, flame away here, as I may be in the minority: Most of these books I actually enjoy reading. Hell, when you read them as much as we have, I kind of feel like the predictability sharpens my storytelling skills (you’ve got to get creative after 1,298th read. 😉
Plus, to see your young child begin to recognize words as a result of said 1,298th reading, well, that makes this mama downright thrilled.
The monkey book. YES. Although our version only has 5 (thank goodness!).
VITA Train for Life says
YES to all of these torture devices!!! The super hero books are God-awful too. I have a Disney one titled “5 Minute Bedtime Stories.” Sounds good, right? WRONG! I don’t know if someone was speed reading these puppies but they are each at least 10 minutes. Why Disney? Why?
Kristen Hewitt says
Oh those bedtime stories are the WORST! Agreed!
Kathleen Gordon says
I used to call them “rip the flap” books, because it was far more accurate. Once a well-meaning childless older relative excitedly gave my son a very elaborate Winnie the Pooh flap book, and then sat down for a visit. Son had carried the book off, and then the relative asked if she could read it to him. He brought it back with every single flap ripped off.
My only beef is that you left out the Max and Ruby books. They’re the worst.
Kristen Hewitt says
I haven’t read Max & Ruby books but will steer clear…thanks for the heads up!
Kayla Tyburski says
Only a mom who is well versed with children (pun intended) can write a post like this. This is hilarious. I can’t stand flap books and I resist buying Eric Carle because I KNOW my daughter will destroy them. I am way to OCD to let her have them. It’s not helping her learn how to take care of them, but I can’t handle it. haha
Aruna - Young Yoga Masters says
Books that repeat the same line over and over make the bottom of my listfor older children.
Jennifer Ludwigsen says
You. Are. Hilarious. I can’t STAND the Barbie books. I think we should do a mass-burn session. I also can’t stand a few of the baby einstein hardcover books. Don’t the authors realize Im reading these to…well…babies??
ha ha ha, this is a great list. #3 is my favorite. How is it a kids book if it’s so freakin long that they will fall asleep before page four? We actually have a few of these. Most of them don’t bother me, but I will NEVER buy a small child (0-3yrs) a book that required more than five minutes to read. Thanks Kirsten for the laugh! (Stopping by from SITS Girls Sharefest)
Aubrey Hunt says
Haha! Love this! Looooong books are one of my pet peeves, too. And I’m SO glad to find another Mom who isn’t into Where the Wild Things Are. I don’t think it models good behavior or really has a moral. Max is just a stinker! My kids know how to do that on their own, thankyouverymuch. I really love Goodnight Moon, though, perhaps for the same reason you dislike it. I feel like the ability to recite a children’s book from memory is a badge of honor. I don’t remember anything else, but this is proof that my memory is not completely gone. Haha. Plus, if you know it by heart, you can close your eyes and relax while reciting the words and turning the pages, and your kid’s none the wiser.
Aubrey Hunt says
(Forgot to say I’m stopping by from the Parenting Pointers linky this week. Glad you shared there!)
Kellie The Shoe Diva says
I know this post is supposed to be for moms with little kids but I have to pin this one to my board of things that make me smile because I laughed out loud reading this one. I think Dr. Seuss was “hopped up” on something often not just with this book, lol
Elizabeth (Rock-A-Bye Parents) says
ROFL! Great post Kristen! We only have the board book on Hop on Pop and that picture is not in our book. Actually we didn’t have that one growing up either. I’ll make sure never to buy the full version.
Jill R. says
I am still smiling…
I love to read with my kids, I love for my kids to explore books independently…. but there are days when the long books make turn into that announcer that talks really fast at the end of the advertisement. I read so fast my kids get annoyed with me, but darn it.. END book… END already!
Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!
Laura@Baking in Pyjamas says
Lol, great post! Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!
Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf says
Oh gosh, yes, those Barbie books uggggh!!!
Natasha In Oz says
Thanks so much for joining the Say G’Day Linky Party. We have pinned your post to the Say G’Day Saturday board!
Natasha in Oz
Vicki Lesage says
When I saw “Where The Wild Things Are” in the image I was like “Nooo! I love that book!” But I totally get that it can be scary. My son is too young to really understand what’s going on with it yet (he’s not quite 2) but I’m gonna take it out of the rotation soon before he gets scared, then bring it back when he’s older. Totally agree about the rest!
Creative Mama Renee says
I totally get Where the Wild Things Are – we have it from the library right now and there are a lot more growls and snarling noises as he tries to imitate the wild things. It will be going back as soon as its due!
Gary Mathews says
Care Bears hands down the worse, why her mother decided to introduce her to those books is beyond me. I cringed every night when she picked out one of those books.
I’ve never read those, sounds like that was a good plan! lol!
what r u talking about? i love every single one of those books.
Amen honey. I hate cleaning up all those flip book pieces, then I’m like – do I keep the book or just throw it away?
Donate them! That’s what I do!
Nicole Schwarz says
YES! Barbie books…and My Little Pony Books…are horrible! I can never pronounce the names, the story line is, well, ridiculous!
One day while my daughter was sleeping I threw that gawd awful Dora potty in trash and have never looked back. That is until this post… Yes to every single WORD of this. We have a new rule, “Mama does not buy books about movies or TV shows.” They’re horribly written and obscenely verbose. Finally, on a more positive note, my childhood and tweenhood too was spent in between the pool and the pages of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary.