My Beef with Board Books

After reading the same children’s stories over and over again, I’ve become quite familiar with them and have many of them committed to memory. So now as I automatically recite these stories to my son, my mind drifts to consider what is really going on in these books. Let’s just say I have beef with a few.

Nutbrown Hare

OK, I get it.  A super adorable “I love you more than you realize” bedtime story. The first time I read this book I think I cried. But after reading it a few more times, I’m annoyed. The sweet little hare is just trying to tell his parent how much he loves them the best way he knows how. Instead of getting a “Aw, honey, that is so sweet knowing you love me as far as your arms can stretch! That’s a lot !” little Hare’s love is challenged with an “Oh, yeah? That’s as far as your arms can go? Ha!  Watch this!” The big hare 1 ups everything the little hare does. I hate 1 uppers.


Just say “thank you,” dang it!

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?

I don’t think he is echoing a rooster here. I’m pretty sure he just broke his arm and is crying out in pain. I mean, look at the angle of his right elbow! I wince every time we get to this page.

Somebody call this man an ambulance!

Somebody call this man an ambulance!


Oh, Otis. I love you and your sweet story, but I think the authors might have been a bit lazy. This page especially bothers me. “Suddenly the calf’s ears perked up.” Why suddenly? Seems like an overuse of the word to describe the simple movement of ears of all things. Then, it goes on to describe the sound of Otis in the distance and how the sound comes louder. Then the authors say “And all at once Otis putt puffed from around the barn and headed straight toward Mud Pond.” All at once? Really? It sounds like he gradually arrived, hence the whole “the sound became louder” part. Plus, isn’t it obvious a single object would appear “all at once?” It’s more effective when something with multiple parts shows up all at once…like an army.  Anyway, I always edit this part when reading to my son. I replace “all at once” with “then.” Harrumph!

Suddenly? All at once? Are you sure?

Suddenly? All at once? Are you sure?

What beef do you have with your kid’s books? Tell me I’m not the only one over thinking them!


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