A recommendation, a quandary and a stupid book that belongs in the trash

The books that are most popular with our three year old daughter eventually find their way off the shelf and into a wicker basket in her bedroom. As these books fall out of favor, they eventually make their way back to the shelf, often to regain favor again months later. 

Comments on three books currently residing in this basket:


10 MINUTES TILL BEDTIME by Peggy Rathmann: I cannot say enough about this book. It’s essentially a story that teaches children to count down from ten, but the illustrations are tremendous. Clara and I have read this book more than twenty times, and I am still finding details in the illustrations that make every page new, interesting and fun. It’s the kind of book that both parents and children can mutually enjoy.



WHEN YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE by Laura Joffe Numeroff


My daughter loves these books, including this first one which launched the series, but I have never understood one thing about this book:

Why does the mouse use scotch tape to stick his picture to the refrigerator? It makes no sense. Why not a magnet? Has anyone in the history of modern-day refrigeration ever thought it a good idea to affix a piece of paper to a refrigerator with tape?


I’m not going to say the name of this book, because although I despise it with every fiber of my being, I’m not sure how we acquired it and do not want to risk offending the person who gave us this book.

It’s a non-fiction children’s book about ballet, including descriptions of ballet practice and recitals. There’s far too much text on each page for someone as young as my daughter, but it’s a series of photographs in the middle of the book that I find most objectionable:

Little girls, approximately 5-7 years old, plastered with enough makeup to make them look like sad, elderly children.

Rarely have I ever seen grown women wear the amount of lipstick and eye shadow that these little girls are wearing.

What kind of parent thinks this is a good idea?

Clara loves ANGELINA BALLERINA, so when she found this book on her shelf last week, she was thrilled. But since there is too much text on a page for her age level, I’ve been inventing a story of a more appropriate length to go along with the photographs, including sentences like:

“Look at those girls wearing all that makeup. How yucky. Those little girls must be so sad. Little girls should never wear so much makeup. It’s gross.”

I can’t remember a time in my life when I wanted to throw a book in the garbage, but this might be the one. At the very least, I plan on removing this book from my home as soon as possible lest these clown-like images of these sad children become ingrained in my daughter’s mind.