NO GOOD book review. . .the one book I won't pass on

I have been participating in a blog challenge.  31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

The extra time and work has been hard, but I think the information and challenges I’m working through are going to make a BIG difference here at

Today’s challenge is to write an opinion post.  Of course on Fridays you come here for Book Reviews, which are my opinion.  In the spirit of stretching my comfort zone a bit, I want to share what happened with us when I found a book that I thought was less than fabulous.

With the amount of books we read, our goal of reading books that match the themes we are working on, and picking books by description alone. . .we are bound to come across a few that are not great.  I try to read the books before sitting down with M and M, although it’s just not always that easy.  When the stack of birthday books came home from the library, Little M was excited to get reading.

We came across one (no reason to tell you which one) that just got under my skin.  The little boy in this story receives an invitation to a birthday party.  He is surprised because the kid who sent the invite is NOT his friend, and he tells his mother this.  She quickly dismisses his comment and tells him that only a friend would send an invitation to his party.  He tries to engage the birthday boy at school, since they are now friends, but has no luck.  He is even met with a very rude response to his rsvp, something along the lines of “my mom made me invite all the kids in class and you’d better bring me something good”.  I kept waiting for a good moral, maybe the birthday boy would come around or the mother would see the err in her ways.  Nope, it just got worse and worse.  In the end; I shut the book, took a deep breath and began a lengthy discussion about the problems in this book.

I started off by asking if they had any problems with the way the story unfolded.  Did they feel that everyone had handled the situation fairly?  What mistakes were made by the characters?  What would have happened if the mother had asked her son more questions about why he didn’t want to go to the party?

I also touched on a few party points.  What is a good reason to attend someone’s party?  What do you like best about having guests at your party?  What would happen if someone came and didn’t bring a present?

I think I managed to turn story time around and maybe teach a little family lesson in the process.  But I don’t think I’ll be searching out that author anytime soon.

Have you had to “save” story time?  How do you prevent story time blunders or what do you when it’s too late?


About Jillian

I love to create. I have tried many different mediums; sewing, cake decorating and storytelling are some of my very favorites. I have been a stay at home mom for 5 years (with a brief part time job somewhere in there.) Before I became a Mommy, I was co owner and teacher of a home family child care. I plan to jump right back into teaching preschool as soon as my kids are in school.
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4 Responses to NO GOOD book review. . .the one book I won't pass on

  1. If I find something just not going right in the book at the beginning, then we will usually discuss what is wrong and then not finish the book as most likely the author doesn’t agree with our values. If it is in the middle of the book and we are liking the story line, then we will stop and discuss, or if it is just a sentence, I’ll take creative license and reword it in a better way and the kids usually won’t know. (I don’t like swear words in children’s books.) I actually like to read books that have some sort of moral that can lead to a good discussion on relating it to life. Thanks for the post! Now I’m dying to know what book it was! Visiting from SITS 31dbbb.

    • I like “creative license”, sometimes I do it on accident because I get carried away with the story. My husband will look over at me and mouth “that is not what it says”. I thought about including the book title, but the thing is some people might like the moral. Everyone has such different family values, so I think I’ll just keep that to myself. Thank you for such a nice, and though out comment!

  2. Katie says:

    I’m glad that you were able to use the book as a teaching tool for your child. I’m not a mother, but while reading stories or watching television with my two young nephews, I’m finding that quality in children’s story telling is lacking nowadays. The fact that there are rarely lessons learned in a children’s story is what bugs me the most. The other day, I was watching Sesame Street with the boys, and a guest in the segment began singing a song called “Drop it like it’s hot” complete with a sexy dance. It just troubles me.

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