Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why are Children's Books So Inane?

In the course of reading several children's books, I have realized one major flaw about many of them; they are incredibly boring.

Many of the baby board books are repetitive and less than compelling. I cannot tell you how many baby books I have read about the sounds that barnyard animals make:

Pig = Oink, Cow= Moo, Cat = Meow etc.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting to read a literary masterpiece in a "board book," but come on! Even if there is a simplistic concept, at least the drawings could be innovative; different; creative; unique in some way shape or form.

Of all beings, children are the most open to off beat concepts. Authors and artists should take advantage of this aspect of children and create children's books that reflect children's innovative nature.


  1. I agree!! I want to see how "Listen to the Wind" is.

  2. Dang! I just wrote a HUGE response to this one, and it didn't post! I've got to start copying my text before trying to post, just in case.

    Well, my lengthy (and, frankly, quite brilliant) insight on the matter is now lost to posterity. Basically, children's books are insipid because they're written for kids, who seem to like simplicity and repetition. (It's the same reason they like Barney and Teletubbies, which make adults suicidal!) But if Dr. Seuss could write books that both kids and adults love, someone else should be able to do so, as well!

  3. P.S. Eric Carle's books are generally pretty innovative but after the one about the hungry caterpillar, it always seemed to me like he was trying to make lightning strike twice but falling short. We bought them and read them to death, but the first was always the best!

  4. It's true that children, on the whole, like repetition, but there are funny and clever ways to do it.

    For example, there is a hysterically funny book called "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" by Mo Willems. It involves audience participation.
    Children have to persistently tell the pigeon that he cannot (under any circumstances) drive the bus. The book is inherently repetitious, but still hilarious.

    I love Eric Carle! Although some of his books are a bit too prolific. They go on WAY too long. "The Hungry Caterpillar" is great, but so is "The Very Quiet Cricket"

  5. How about a Carle book entitled "The Very, Very Exhausted Parent" You never could touch some hearts.

  6. Ha ha ha! That's a good one. I bet it's out there.


What do you think? Feel free to agree or disagree, but hateful comments will be deleted.