Totally had the same epiphany when reading my FAVORITE children's books to my kids! OMG. Some have rather adult content. =)
Worst children's book ever is "Meet Smurfette" http://www.amazon.com/Meet-Smurfette-Smurfs-Peyo/dp/1442422904/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377800423&sr=1-1&keywords=smurfette in which Gargamel makes an evil brown haired and brown eyed smurf who is too pushy and not at all feminine, and no smurfs come to her party. then papa smurf "smurfs" her into a blond, blue-eyed bombshell and she starts to act coy and dumb, and then they all fall in love with her.
seriously. that is really the plot.
If Curious George is your safe example the books are bad. The original Curious George book depicts him being kidnapped, smoking a pipe before going to bed, and is generally a dated mess of a story. It's on my list of books not to bring home.
Books sure do leave a huge impact on the little minds and its important to keep them away from bad ones to enable healthy mind growth.
I never read The Giving Tree as a child and was horrified when I finally did as an adult. I remember thinking it was a terribly sick book. I'd much rather Curious George smoked if it were between the two
I believe The Giving Tree to be an amazing story with many lessons. As the tree gives and gives (and loves unselfishly) to the boy who takes and takes, and leaves the tree with nothing but a stump, we can learn the invaluable lesson not to take advantage of those who might provide for us (example: parents, guardians, caretakers). We can learn to be happy with what we are given in life and not drain others of their resources. We can also learn the lesson of unselfish love the tree has for the boy, something parents may relate to, "and the tree was happy" when the boy was around (albeit needing something). The book also illustrates the risk of giving all you have, and that you may be left with nothing. I believe it to be a versatile book with many lessons to choose from.
I had the same adult reaction to the giving tree. Perhaps the lesson of greed is not blunt enough for some of us. The tree was majorly into martyrdom and the boy seemed blithely oblivious to the fact that he was the cause of the stump. I would have preferred an empowered tree who had the voice and wherewithal to set some good limits for that greedy boy.
It seems the tree needs to develop some boundaries, no?
Just found your blog while googling School Psych books I'm an undergrad soon to be applying to School Psychology programs, and I'm so glad I found your blog. Look forward to reading it
I read Jack and the Beanstalk to my child the other day, the version we were given involves the giant having a wife who is 'obedient' to him. That version is going in the bin!
Also, as an Australian there is no getting rid of Waltzing Matilda! It is part of our national identity. Jumbucks, billy tea, billabongs, convicts, etc…
Also, forgot to add, Waltzing Matilda is a song, not a poem. Australian school children learn to sing it in kindergarten ; )
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