Rare is the occasion I refuse to read a kids' book. Unless, that is, the book is driving me bat-shit crazy to the point where I can no longer stand it and might be about to cut out my tongue in sheer frustration.
That was the case with Eric Carle's The Grouchy Ladybug a few days ago.
Now, let me start with some clarification: I like Eric Carle's books on the whole. Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See and The Very Hungry Caterpillar have been literary staples in our house for both boys. So loved, have they been, that their covers and pages are battered and chewed and scribbled on. Signs of true love, these.
But after reading The Grouchy Ladybug for the fourth time in a row one cold snowy afternoon, I found myself doing the unthinkable: I hid the book. Not just like, put it away, but went to the extra effort of stowing it away on the top shelf (that even I can only barely reach) of my bedroom wardrobe, underneath a pile of clothes. I even made sure the edges weren't showing. Hercule Poirot wouldn't have found it.
Why, you ask, did I do this
Because, for the love of cheese, the repetition part of the story went on and on and on and on and on, until my tongue was fuzzy, my mouth was dry and I could actually feel my brain beginning to melt from repeating the same words over and over.
I understand why children's authors use the repetitive technique: kids love it, and there are probably multiple studies that prove repetition assists learning, etc. Many of our favourite authors use the technique too (we read Dr. Seuss a lot).
But in this particular book, the repetition grated on me like fingernails on a chalkboard. As the grouchy
Maybe I was having a grouchy day, or hadn't yet had my coffee. Or maybe it was because we'd read the thing THREE WHOLE TIMES ALREADY, that I was becoming ever-so-slightly bothered by it.
Whatever the reason, The Grouch Ladybug was relegated to the back of the closet that day.
How about you? Have you ever put away a book your kids loved because you didn't love it?