Betsy Bird is doing something enormously wonderful over at Fuse #8.

And hence… I am delighted to announce I’ve thought of a way to (in one fell swoop) copycat her mercilessly, and also seem like a total pill.

I will be the Bizarro-Betsy!

For the next week, I ask that you email me– laurelsnyder (at) hotmail.com– and tell me the name of a picture  book you HATE!  And please, if you can, a few words about why you detest it.

Here’s the catch: It has to be a book other people love. A classic. A bestseller.  A “gem” of some kind.

I mean, we all think this book sucks, natch.  But I want to know what horrible book you feel pressured to like by the  herd, and why you hate it!

Yay for creative negativity!

(Please, please, don’t let me down. Please help me stomp a sacred cow?  Don’t let me stand alone in opposition to creepy treacle!)

20 Responses to “100 HORRIBLE BOOKS!!!!”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Horrid, horrid, horrid and creepy: Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch. Admittedly, the refrain is sweet. But why doesn’t mama ever tell her adored son when he’s conscious that she loves him? And then she starts sneaking into his grownup house using a ladder? What does the man’s wife think of this? *Shudder.*

  2. Kaethe Says:

    w00t! (I’m loving the Bird 100, aren’t you?)

    Okay, there’s a little book I was unfamiliar with until I had the Possum. Goodnight Moon. I can only assume that all the good writers and illustrators were somehow still involved in the war effort. Is there a reason why Hurd was hired to illustrate a book before he learned the craft? Things appear and disappear in the room. Brown mixes up the rhythm and the order of her endless list of minutia, throwing the whole thing off from it’s soothing drone. The only thing worse than Goodnight Moon is The Runaway Bunny a book notable for establishing the creepy stalkerish mother archetype.

  3. Rachel Says:

    How embarrassing that you’d already included my submission. I guess I should have clicked your links prior to hitting submit. Glad we agree though.

  4. Natalie Says:

    OK, I was going to say Love You Forever also. So, instead I’ll choose Guess How Much I Love You? Talk about a competitive parent. Just because the parent has longer arms, bigger imagination, etc. … Urgh. HATE. THAT. BOOK.

  5. Rachel Says:

    This book is not famous. But I’m going to cheat and include it, because of its sheer awfulness:

  6. Kaethe Says:

    Oh, Rachel, I wouldn’t let that in the house. Canned ham

  7. Audrey Says:

    Any book by Margaret Atwood! Although she is a ‘famous’ writer, her stuff is drivel

  8. Jennifer Says:

    I detest Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand. It’s so gooey sweet you can get a cavity just hearing the title. Actually, I pretty much hate all first-day-of-school books (except Rosemary Well’s Timothy books). The only thing I hate more is one of the sequels, Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully, which is one of those detestable books where a child is bullied and the parent tells them, basically, to “be nice.” Oh, and tells a soppy story and suddenly the bully is transformed. Unrealistic bully stories are another hate of mine.

  9. Tamar Says:

    The Giving Tree. I’m sorry, I know it’s a favorite of the whole world’s, but it’s frightening how much that female tree is willing to give to her boyfriend without getting a single thing in the world back from him. He uses her, takes off, comes back, asks for more, uses it up, etc etc. In the real world we call this addiction. WTF?

  10. Lauren Says:

    You guys are awesome! I hate those too!

    Can I add The Rainbow Fish? Why does the fish have to give away his shiny wonderfulness to be liked? Blech!

  11. Amy @ Literacy Launchpad Says:

    Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is one I just don’t get. I wrote about it in a similar post a couple months ago, “My Least Favorite Children’s Book.” (http://literacylaunchpad.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-least-favorite-childrens-book.html) Some others have shared their opinions there as well. :)

  12. Kristi Hazelrigg Says:

    Two of my ‘big 3′ have already been mentioned: Love You Forever and The Giving Tree. Cuh-reepy. <> Here’s my third: Rainbow Fish. I’m all into sharing and stuff, but this little guy was basically told that he had to give away everything that made him special just so other fish (uppity, snotty fish, at that) wouldn’t be jealous and mean. Is this fair? Heck no!

    Reminds me of one of my favorite lines from The Incredibles, when Helen tells Dash that “everyone is special.” Dash hits the nail on the head when he answers with, “Which is another way of saying no one is.”

  13. Madigan Says:

    Okay, I’ll say it! The Rainbow Fish! Ugh! It’s the same sentiment as The Giving Tree when you get right down to it. Kids only like it because it’s sparkly.

  14. Jacqui Says:

    I love this idea. Previous commenters have stolen my schlocky least favorites. Will I be kicked out of the cool writer’s club if I admit I hate the Little House books? I mean, come on, NOTHING HAPPENS except forty pages on gun cleaning and pork smoking.

  15. Pat Says:

    Think of us who are older and for whom Little House books represented adventure! I’m amazed at all the wonderful, exciting places that YA books take us today.

  16. Jennifer Says:

    Rainbow Fish- I don’t get it- just because the page sparkles a little-is that why this is popular? Why does he have to give away his scales to be accepted? I never could relate to this message.

  17. Chrystal Says:

    I’ll throw Winnie the Pooh and his maudlin band of malcontents on the bonfire. Milne’s lovely language can’t disguise the wealth of annoying personality disorders on display in the Hundred Acre Wood!

    (Jaqui–I agree about the LH books, but my youngest loves them because of the abundance of her favorite food: bacon!)

  18. claire Says:

    “the little prince” always put me to sleep. i never finished it, not even as an adult, so i don’t know what it’s about, so i never figured out why people love it.

  19. Chrissy~Singalullaby Says:

    “Goodnight Moon”…..I would love to see someone create different illustrations for the text. I read “Goodnight Gorilla” to my children, instead!

  20. Author Interview: Laurel Snyder | Scrub-a-Dub-Tub Says:

    [...] You have recently taken on the persona of Bizarro-Betsy to compile a list of 100 Horrible Books (the antithesis of Elizabeth Bird’s 100 Top Picture Books List at Fuse #8). In the nominees [...]

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