Most children’s books aim to teach children important lessons about life – like sharing, accepting diversity, and generally becoming a decent human being when they grow up. Some even deal with very serious and sensitive subjects, but sadly go about it the wrong way, and end up becoming highly inappropriate, shocking and downright strange works of children’s literature.
These 10 children’s books are all very inappropriate and – we can assure you – very real.
1. Little Monkey’s Big Peeing Circus by Tjibbe Veldkamp
This book, originally published in 2006, aims to teach young readers all about boy and girls parts through Little Monkey’s peeing “talents” – and fails miserably. “Unless you really want to encourage boys (and girls) to jump around performing various urinating stunts,” Martha Simpson of the Stratford Library Association wrote in her review, “this title is an unnecessary purchase.”
2. Melanie’s Marvelous Measles by Stephanie Messenger
Yay! Measles, everybody! Somehow, that’s not how I see people reacting to Melanie’s measles, and I personally wouldn’t describe measles as “marvelous” but hey, that’s just me. The book’s author, Stephanie Messenger, “takes children on a journey to learn about the ineffectiveness of vaccinations.” Never mind whether the book’s inappropriate or not – this woman is inappropriate!
3. Harpo’s Horrible Secret by Barbara Kelley
4. My Big Sister Takes Drugs by Judith Vigna
My Big Sister Takes Drugs was published in 1995, and its back cover synopsis reads “…when the family discovers Tina’s drug abuse problem, things turn much worse. Paul’s new friend doesn’t want to play with him, and Paul can’t go to summer camp because Tina’s hospital program costs too much.” F*ck you, Tina!
5. The House That Crack Built by Clark Taylor
Another one about drugs, The House That Crack Built transforms a well-known nursery rhyme “into a beautiful poem about the tragic problem of illegal drugs and its victims” – in a hip hop “beat”. Oh, Lord.
6. My Parents Open Carry by Brian Jeffs and Nathan Nephew
Surely, in a world plagued by war, the last thing we should be teaching kids is to carry guns. But – oh, that’s right – authors Jeffs and Nephew do exactly that. Unfortunately, this book only serves as an aid in brainwashing children in “accepting” their parents’ opinions about carrying handguns and has ultimately become the early handbook for high school shooters.
7. The Night Dad Went to Jail by Melissa Higgins
Subtitled “What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail,” The Night Dad Went to Jail chronicles the story of Sketch, a young rabbit who witnesses his father’s arrest and his dealing with the confusion and anger of such a traumatic event.
8. Monsters Eat Whiny Children by Bruce Eric Kaplan
All that is written on the back cover of this Bruce Eric Kaplan-penned book is “The crumbs are the best part” which is quite enough to give adults nightmares (never mind kids). While Monsters Eat Whiny Children intends to sway kids from whining, one can’t help but suspect Kaplan only wrote this book because he couldn’t eat his own whiny children without going to prison.
9. The Prison Alphabet by Dr. Bahiyyah Muhammad and Muntaquim Muhammad
This coloring book – yes, coloring book – is so wrong on so many levels. For one, the cover stereotypically illustrates a black man in prison, and one can only stereotypically assume he was supposed to be jailed for dealing crack. Two, the back cover provides a sneak peek of what to expect within: A for ‘arrest’ and U for ‘uniforms’ – maybe B is for ‘blood’ and M for ‘murder’? Finally, three, it is frequently bought with previously discussed The Night Dad Went to Jail.
10. Maggie Goes on a Diet by Paul M. Kramer
Apparently, it’s perfectly alright to call children between the ages of 8 and 12 that they’re fat and need to go on a diet. Paul M. Kramer sets out to do just that in this abomination called Maggie Goes on a Diet. Sure, let’s make kids feel insecure about their bodies from a very early age – why not?
Can you think of any other inappropriate children’s book that should be included on this list? Let us know in the comments section below!