children, Family, Parenting

The worst kids book ever, and not because it’s about the Maple Leafs

Lucky for us, Kyle LOVES books.  He can literally sit down for a full hour and listen to me read book after book.  I actually read the entire page, no short-cuts, from start to end.  If anything, I’m the one that has to ask him if it’s okay to stop reading books because I just can’t continue reading out loud after an hour.

To fill his love for reading and books, I always seek out new exciting books for him to read.  My parents hunt for all Cat in the Hat / Dr Seuss books, and I search for books that relate to his most recent love and hobbies (i.e. anything to do with sports).books2

We probably own close to 200 children books and they are literally scattered all over our house as we never know when the mood might strike.

There is one book that I purchased that I just HATE.  It is really one of the worst children books that I’ve ever read.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit it because it’s a Canadian book and it’s about the Maple Leafs.  But there’s just no sugar-coating around this one.  It’s a major failure, and here’s why:

1.  The book is called “Maple Leafs A-Z”.  So you can expect that it’s going to be an ABC book of all things hockey.  However, within the first page, you realize that it’s not exactly so.  Specifically, “A is for…. George Armstrong”.  I’m sorry, George starts with a “G”, not an “A”.  But maybe they’re doing it by the players last name.  Okay… fast forward to the letter “E”.  “E is for… Ted kEnnedy”.  Really?  The guy has an E somewhere in his name so that’s what you’re going to pick to represent E???  How is this supposed to teach kids about ABC’s?  If anything, you’re confusing them.  I know I’m confused!Maple Leafs A-Z

2.  The whole book is comprised of players’ names.  Nothing else about the Maple Leafs or hockey. Just players names.  I know I’m bored after the letter A, I can only imagine what my two-year old son feels after A.

3.  The images are bland.  Children love picture books, but the whole book is composed of three colours.  Blue, White and Brown.  And the pictures are of just hockey players.  While this is repetitive, which children like, it’s also boring and bland.  Maybe if each letter was a different picture of a Zamboni my son would be more into it.  But hockey players?  How boring!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this book does not get a lot of “out of shelf” time in our house.  In fact, I had to dust it off as I took it out for this post.

Here’s a few lessons I learned after purchasing and reading this book:

1. Don’t judge a book by its cover!  When I bought the book, I didn’t open it up. I just saw that it was about hockey, Maple Leafs specifically, and the ABC’s.  I figured I couldn’t go wrong.  How surely mistaken I was.

2. Do your research! Next time, before I purchase a book, I will not only open it first, but I will read it to my son before I buy it.  I will gauge his interest in the book and ask him what his opinion is of the book.  Does he want me to read it to him again? Or is he already eyeing a different book on the shelves?

3. If something is too good to be true, it probably is!  I should confess… I purchased this book at the dollar store.  This probably explains the “crappiness” of this book.  It couldn’t sell in regular book stores, so that’s why it’s being sold in the dollar store, for a dollar!books1

What’s the worst children book you’ve ever purchased or read?  Any lessons learned you can share?

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12 thoughts on “The worst kids book ever, and not because it’s about the Maple Leafs”

  1. Harsh Maya! I saw the pictures of John and Kyle wearing Penguins jerseys last night. I’ve been gone for 5 days and you’re already starting to post venomous anti-Leafs blogs and cheer for other teams?! I need to hop on the next flight back home… 🙂

    Just kidding – sounds like a pretty terrible book. And I’ve seen Kyle read some questionable material. BTW – for E, I definitely would have gone with Wild Bill Ezinicki, or Elwin “Doc” Romnes.

      1. call me jaded but I love that book. prob b/c as a kid I saw it as a true testament of friendship. yes, i WAS a pushover but as a mom, it does seem like the boy is very greedy. I’ll have to revisit rhis one. great. tnx guys! !!!

  2. I’ve seen a few. Never bought one, though…
    The most horrific was one that goes like that:
    A boy goes to his Father
    Boy: “Daddy! I have a monster in my room!”
    Father: “Leave me alone. I’m busy.”
    Boy goes to his mother.
    Boy: “Mummy! I have a monster in my room!”
    Mother: “Leave me alone. I’m busy.”
    Boy goes to his room.
    Monster eats the boy.
    The end.

    Honest to God! That’s exactly how the book goes! And would you believe that someone actually put enough effort to translate that piece of literary horror?

    So my lessons learned from that book:
    1) Same as yours – Read before you buy. Even if only to yourself
    2) Monsters are carnivores..

    1. it’s a children’s book? haha. that’s too funny. good lessons for parents who don’t pay attention to their kids I guess. where did the book originate from? that’s pretty hilarious.

      1. Not sure where it comes from. Saw it in Israel but it was translated to Hebrew. I’m 99% sure it was originally written in English. And quite sure that it wasn’t a German book (prime suspects with that kind of ending, I know. but I remember being surprised that it wasn’t)

        Another type is the over-preachy/missionary type… We got one as a present after Yohai was born. It’s called “Tfilaila” (Night Prayer) and it’s sort of a New Age Night Prayer for kids. Mind you, the drawings are beautiful (I’d like to think that whoever got it for us was so bedazzled by the graphics that they neglected to read the text), but the (not-So) hidden message… In order to avoid using foul language, I’ll just say that was the 1st book in my short life that I threw in the trash (Recycle, of course). I never do that; even with bad books, as I feel bad for the person who worked so hard to write the book. But this piece of watchamacallit? Perfect arc and SWOOSH!

    1. that’s the thing. even though it stinks, I can’t bring myself to throwing it out. I just feel so guilty. might be time to make a trip to goodwill though. perhaps someone else might enjoy it 😉

  3. That is hilarious – I have brought home books in the past without even flipping through them (if they are 10 cents at a sale, who really cares?) but I should definitely read them on my own before sharing them with my daughter. I have some ‘vintage’ golden books that are very set in their gender roles etc. from the 60s or so. At least at this age (2), if I am quick-witted enough, I can make up a more acceptable (to me) storyline or verbiage!

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