Top Ten Things I Hate About Children's Books

By Kate, age 15, Pennsylvania

I love to read, and always have. When I was younger, I read everything, including children's books that were kept in my various classrooms. Since I have vast experience muddling through these insanely terrible books, there are a lot of things I dislike about them. Hence, this list.

Top Ten Things I Hate About Children's Books

1. Those annoying Spanish books where the wise "abuela" is constantly dispensing nuggets of wisdom and preparing "frijoles." There is generally one special proverb that is repeated throughout the book in italicized letters, usually when the author is too lazy to write a conclusion to a chapter. This is especially true after the abuela's inevitable death, which usually occurs in or before chapter two.

2. How whenever people are playing catch at the beginning of a book, one of them is dead within five pages. This is also true in that stupid Zac Efron movie that just came out.

3. The Berenstein Bears. Firstly, it's about a bunch of bears that wear ugly overalls, speak English, and live in a tree, which is altogether unrealistic. Secondly, there is always some sort of moral. And finally, the mother is wise and all-knowing, whereas Papa Bear is a total bonehead. I will never understand the popularity of these books.

4. Books about Native Americans where the cover depicts a dude standing on a hill with his arms in the air, reaching toward the sunset. It is such a pointless activity that I have a hard time believing that anyone has ever actually done this. On the bright side, it is easy to judge these books by their covers, so you don't have to waste your time reading badly written, stereotypical depictions of Lenapes.

5. Horse books. First of all, the main characters spend way too much time with horses and not enough time conversing with actual humans, so that the majority of these books end up having five chapters detailing how each horse is groomed. The characters also have special relationships with these horses, and sometimes have actual conversations with them. Clearly, the authors have no life, and are attempting to justify their lack of friends and dysfunctional relationships with domesticated animals.

6. Books about foreign children, who are better than Americans and a thousand times more grateful for their educations and other opportunities given to them in life. I have heard this spiel at most of the assemblies I was forced to attend at school, and yet I still can't find it in myself to care.

7. Books where the entire plot is that the parents are gay or lesbian. I'm totally liberal and pro-LGBTQ, but that's really not enough to carry a plot. These books generally are along the lines of "I have two moms. There are two. There are not three. They are both women." Okay, then.

8. Badly drawn graphic novels with laughable plots. These are what fourth-graders read when they are attempting to be "alternative" but are actually nerds. Later, when they attend prestigious liberal arts colleges, they will dye their hair purple and wear Che Guevara T-shirts to prove to themselves that they continue to be "alternative". To what, exactly, I am not sure.

9. Anne of Green Gables. I forced myself to get through this entire series, and I'm not quite sure why. Basically, she berates everyone else for not being imaginative enough, and then imaginatively becomes a schoolteacher. How exotic. She also manages to screw everything up, including one memorable episode where she gets her 12-year-old best friend drunk. I just remembered why I continued to read these books.

10. The new Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I liked the old ones, because I wasn't as cynical when I was ten, and also because my grandma gave them to me and she's totally awesome. However, despite my early tolerance for that annoying goody-two-shoes, I couldn't bring myself to get through even one of the imaginary books about her mother and grandmother. I say "imaginary" because they were not written by her mother and grandmother, who probably died in 1492, so basically it's just a bunch of people pretending to be them so that they can make money off of Laura Ingalls Wilder's name. This would infuriate me more, but Laura Ingalls Wilder is extremely annoying, so I don't actually care.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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