Over at The American Scene they're debating which book can wear the crown as the worst children's book ever. I think you'll be surprised at some of the books that come up in the debate- Little Women, Curious George books, Judy Blume books and Dr Seuss (!?).
One commenter mentioned The Ugly Duckling , for him the story was traumatic. "Ugly duckling is shunned and harassed by peers for being ugly. Duckling grows up and becomes attractive. Shows them, hah! Moral: If you’re young and ostracized, you better hope you grow up and turn out hot. Otherwise, you’re screwed." He certainly has a point.
One commenter suggests Hansel and Gretel. How nice is it to read to children about Hansel and Gretel's parents trying to kill them and then in the end somehow all is forgiven and they go back home to the potential killers? Most fairy tales are pretty gruesome that way, but I liked them as kids, though possibly Hansel and Gretel less so. My main beef was the house made of gingerbread. All I could think was how sticky everything would get.
JK Rowling gets a few nods. Seems to be a lot of hatred for The Polar Express and The Giving Tree. Make sure you scroll down almost to the bottom for the lovely cartoon strip- The Unforgiving Tree. HA! If I were a tree, I'd likely be that one. Damn! How much abuse must trees take?
I agree anything Care Bear related MUST be on this list. But I remember being a kid and not liking Velveteen Rabbit. I couldn't believe how cruel it was. I hated the pictures of the poor rabbit thrown in the garden.
Which children's book do you think deserves to win this award?