5 real children’s books that should never have been published

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Some kids books are awful – but some go one step further and manage to be downright inappropriate.  Here’s my pick of 5 books that should never have made it to the shelves, but unfortunately did:

Latawnya Naughty Horse Learns to say no to drugs

Pretty much as it says in the title.  A horse is lead into experimenting with drugs by other horses.  I’m not sure what the writer expected to achieve here, but you can hear a reading here:


2  Alfie’s home

A nice little children’s book about sexual abuse and how being gay can be cured by counselling. I’d like to say it’s got it’s heart in the right place, but it so clearly hasn’t.

3  Melanies Marvellous Measles

A joke, right?  Wrong!  This is a book celebrating the now completely debunked anti-vaccination movement, and encouraging children and parents to enjoy this potentially debilitating disease instead of eradicating it with vaccination.

Cleverly, the author stole the title from Roald Dahl’s “George’s Marvellous Medicine” – Dahl was a long time proponent of vaccination after his child died from measles.

4 Dinosuars for kids

A book about those ancient creatures that roamed the earth millions of years ago?  So you’d think, but actually, this is a book about young-earth creationism.  Dinosaurs and humans apparently co-existed, but there was no room for them on Noah’s ark.

5 To train up a child

A set of instructions for bringing up children, based on the same techniques some evangelical Christians use to train mules –  Regular beatings and instructions on how to “defeat your child totally”.  This book has come in for a lot of criticism, but has apparently sold 800,000 copies

A few choice quotes:

  • For the under one year old, a little, ten- to twelve-inch long, willowy branch (striped of any knots that might break the skin) about one-eighth inch diameter is sufficient. Sometimes alternatives have to be sought. A one-foot ruler, or its equivalent in a paddle, is a sufficient alternative. For the larger child, a belt or larger tree branch is effective.
  • The parents who put off training until the child is old enough to discuss issues or receive explanations find their child a terror long before he understands the meaning of the word. A new born soon needs training
  • PARENTS MUST ASSUME THAT PART OF THE CHILD’S MORAL DUTY WHICH IS NOT YET FULLY DEVELOPED. The parents’ role is not that of a policeman, but more like that of the Holy Spirit
  • When the time comes to apply the rod, take a deep breath, relax, and pray, “Lord, make this a valuable learning session. Cleanse my child of ill-temper and rebellion. May I properly represent your cause in this matter.”
  • Make it a point never to use your hand for spanking. The hand swatting is a release of the parent’s own frustration. Furthermore, where the child is concerned, the hand is for loving, not martial arts.
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