Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A Board Book Gone Wrong

I love books.  I especially love children's books.  As a teacher, I used books to teach every single subject at every grade level and since school budgets are never what they should be, I have spent a lot of my own money on books for my classroom (and why I had to buy a thing to hang from the ceiling of my garage to hold all my teaching supplies now that I am on leave).

Shortly after Superman was born, my husband found that he really enjoyed reading to him and it became their "thing".  I quickly began gathering all the books that I thought Superman might like from my collection.  As most moms already know, at some point the normal full sized picture books stopped keeping Superman's attention.  He needed less words, more rhyming and to get his hands on those books  I knew I needed to get some board books so off to Powell's I went.

Among the collection of board books were several written by Sandra Boynton.  We have The Going to Bed Book, Snuggle Puppy, Pajama Time, Moo, Baa, La La La, and Blue Hat, Green Hat.  The Going to Bed Book and Pajama Time are must reads every single night (although my husband always has to add something about the fact that no one actually goes up to exercise as they are getting ready for bed) and the others make their rounds frequently.  There is one book written by Sanda Boynton that I regret buying:  Hey! Wake Up!.

I will admit that I was on a buying rampage and may not have read the whole way through this book before buying it.  I know that this is therefore my fault and I should just stop complaining.  However, maybe by writing this blog, you won't make the same mistake that I did.

So what is my problem with this book?  I think a list is the only real way to get my point across:   (I heart lists.)
  1. The hippo says "ew" to the broccoli stew...TWICE!  I like broccoli enough, but probably won't be making broccoli stew anytime soon.  However, I do not want the idea that you can say "ew" to anything be taught to my son and especially not to vegetables.  
  2. "You're too small for basketball" - Who says?  You, Ms. Boynton?  If my child wants to play basketball, then he will be allowed to play basketball, even if he doesn't "play with someone tall".   I have no problem later in life explaining to my under 6 foot son that he will never have a career as a NBA center, but as a child that is reading a board book?  Oh no you didn't!  (please add the side to side head and finger shake for effect) 
  3. Along the lines of #2 is "You're too big to use the swings! You should go do Big Guy things."  In the picture there is a hippo sitting on the swing.  So is how is a toddler going to translate this? Big kids and adults can't swing? Fat kids can't swing?  We should not be saying the words "you can't" to our babies and toddlers when we are talking about something that is fun and healthy for them, especially when the reason has to do with their size.  (Editors Note: I realize that parents are going to say, "you can't" all the time to babies and toddlers when it isn't safe or the timing is wrong or whatever.  I am talking in the greater sense of the words, "you can't".)
  4. "Morning snack is here for you. Milk and cookies."  I hate to pull out the "I never will ____" for fear that I may some day actually do that, but I want to believe in my heart of hearts that I will NEVER give my son milk and cookies for a morning snack.  I don't even want him thinking that is a possibility!
  5. "And broccoli stew. [hippo says, "ew"] For the bunny, not you." [hippo says, "oh. phew."]  I know, I know, I already brought this up, but come on!  Really?  
Maybe I am just completely missing something on this book, but in my opinion, Susan Boynton missed the mark on this book BIG TIME.  Part of me wants to recycle the book so that no other child will read it ever again.  The frugal side of me wants to sell it back to Powell's and hope that the next new mommy does a better job reading through the books before buying it.

Have you ever bought a book for your baby or toddler and later read it and thought, "whuck?"  I would love to hear about it.  In fact, if you would like to be a guest blogger on my blog and write about, that would be even better!  You do not need to have a blog of your own to be a guest blogger.  Simply click on the "Contact" button at the top of my page and email me your idea.

Happy Reading!


Mommy C  

(I have absolutely no connection to these books, the publishers, the author, or anyone connected to them.  I am just a mom writing my own opinion.)


Destri {The Mother Huddle} said...

We LOVE the Susan Boynton books, but I have never even seen this one! In fact we just moved and I left all of them in another state and had to rent a bunch at the library, and that one was not there....maybe for a reason!
And yes, I am with you, not the right messages to be sending.
Great post though!

Tiffiny said...

Oh man, "Blue Hat, Green Hat" is Ellie's current obsession. She laughs her little tail off at the "Oops!" on every.single.page. She'll even 'read' it to herself.

estefanick said...

Ha ha- You crack me up!!! I don't know that book, but I will definitely stay away from it if I see it. Mike also has a huge problem with "they all go up to exercise" in The Going to Bed Book. hee hee!!

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