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