I spent my morning sorting through books from my childhood, & found some pretty messed up stuff. The books my brother & I grew up with were taking up 4 shelves of my son's bookcases. Now that my brother will be a father in 2 months, it's time to sort out the ones with chicken scratch writing in the "This Book Belongs To" section, from the elegant cursive writing on others. Again, I found some messed up stuff.
|Not terrifying at all.|
My brother & I were always taught to respect books, as was my son. These well-read, 30 year old children's books are almost all in perfect condition, aside from the cursive writing practice on a few inside covers.
|Noted: 7 year old me loved John, did not like Albert.|
Our library includes The Berenstain Bears & Robert Munsch & Dr. Seuss, but the real treasures are the odd ones. When I was a child, living in the States, I belonged to The Weekly Reader Children's Book Club. Random books were delivered to our house, I believe on a bi-weekly basis, so the name was a tad misleading. They never delivered classics, like The Velveteen Rabbit or Corduroy. The books that came in the mail were always obscure, usually in that so-70s colour scheme of white, black, & splashes of orange here & there. These were the books that no one else wanted, much like The Last Puppy.
|When you see it, you will recoil in horror.|
Some had images that have stayed with me, buried in my mind, waiting to be unleashed once more. When I read the Disney book, Real-Life Monsters, to my son years ago, this picture stayed in my mind for days. It had haunted me as a child (the way the blood is dripping, & the T-Rex is LOOKING AT ME, & the guy I should feel sorry for LOOKS EVIL TOO), & now it was doing it again.
|You're next, Lisa.|
Often, the Weekly Reader books were poetry books, & they were not by Shel Silverstein. While I approve of the message Skipper is trying to convey, I feel this may be too morbid for a children's book.
|Protect him from you, more likely.|
In An Itch, we see the beginnings of a beautiful serial killer, discovering for the first time that he likes inflicting pain.
|You are mine.|
Maybe it's just me, but I always felt "wrote his name on my back with his fingernails" meant a name was carved into his skin, like a branding. Creeps me out. Yes, the poetry books may have been the worst.
|I don't want to know how a cow gives milk with all her might.|
|Baby animals are sometimes too weak to survive.|
|There's a ghost in the backyard. Have fun!|
Little Golden Books were always present in our library. And this one is a Beatrix Potter story! That should be delightful & completely safe.
There's no way this could make my 2 year old son burst into tears the first time I read it to him, right?
|If the bunnies are old enough to know, so are you.|
Here's another Golden Boo...wait a minute. A Happy Day Book? It's a fake!
It looks like a Golden Book, but it's meant to teach Christian values.
Values like always sing for ghosts.
|It's creepier if we're just yellowing in old age.|
This particular book also contains what may be the best rhyme ever.
This book is still available for purchase here, so you're welcome.
Another piece of religious propaganda that I had as a child (thanks Mom & Dad!) was a booklet of comic strips that all ended in a moral or a saying, like "Do unto others..." or "obey your parents", or this classic.
From Leviticus, I believe.
|"Either tell the truth or keep your mouth shut!"|
My brother & I had a book called The ABCs of Faith, which explained sacraments like baptism, confirmation, & that God is totes cool with polygamy as long as he gets an invite!
|Leave room for the Holy Ghost...between the sheets, ifyouknowwhatimsayin.|
Also tackled is the heavy topic of a child losing a loved one. Does it do a good job of this? NO.
|Grandma's dead? God is great! Yay!|
This book also shows us that Church is the REAL THING*.
Jesus is waiting there for us FOR REAL*.
*Please don't question anything you've just read. It's the REAL THING.
The one book that amazes me for its awful-message-masquerading-as-biblical-lesson is:
This is curiously not available at Arch Books anymore, even though the other 14 bible stories they published are. Let's find out the possible reasons why!
|Just marry one of your cousins, already.|
Jacob meets & falls in love with his cousin, Rachel.
|My sister did want you wed right away, but...deal!|
Jacob works hard, & it's getting closer to the day he can marry Rachel.
Jacob & Rachel's wedding day is here. Jacob looks dashing in the same tunic he's worn through the whole book, & his bride looks lovely. I guess. She has a veil over her face THE ENTIRE TIME.
|TWIST! I married the wrong cousin!|
|Yeah, she's from last season's Survivor, but I will use her forever.|
|I switched daughters on you, nephew! Ha!|
|Dad of the year.|
So to recap, Jacob was sent by his parents to marry one of his cousins. He falls in love with Rachel, & is so poor at negotiating that instead of just marrying her, he strikes a deal that indentures him for 7 years & only then can he marry her. Uncle says sure, nephew, you can marry one of my daughters. But Jacob makes him lots of money over those 7 years, so he wants Jacob to keep making him money, so he tricks Jacob by making him marry his other daughter, Leah. Haha, Jacob! The joke's on you! I'll tell you what - be my slave 7 more years, & then you can have the wife you really want, my second daughter, AS WELL as my first daughter. How's that sound, nephew/slave/son-in-law?
Looking through this again, I was kind of scared to turn the page. Surely there would be a graphic depiction of Jacob going biblical on his Uncle's ass. Jacob's not going to stand for this bullshit!
I turn the page, &...
|What a crazy random happenstance!|
Again, this book is not available for purchase anymore, & this one is mine. Suckers.
In conclusion, good luck raising your daughter with these books*, Matthew!
*excluding The Farmer Takes A Wife. That craziness is mine.