What to do about troubling children’s books

People are doing great work, despite the pandemic, insane weather, and natural disasters.

I recently came across a resource “fixing” children’s books which you might cringe to read your child, because the messaging is so unhealthy.  There are several ways to handle the poor messaging in these books:

Option A: excise these books from your life. There are many other books out there.  It’s perfectly good parenting to expunge the books you feel weird about and fill your child’s shelves with books you love.  If you’re looking for some new ones, check out my list of favorite children’s books.

Option B: use these books as a conversation starter.  Whenever I read Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to my daughter, it prompts all kinds of discussions.  When she was 2, I asked her to analyze the facial expressions and body language, to practice saying no with her hand up as a stop sign.  When she was 3, we talked about trying new things to see if you like them.  At 5, we talk about how Sam follows and pressures the main character, obtaining reluctant consent instead of enthusiastic consent.

Option C: read a classic book with an alternative ending.  I love this!  It gives us the words we’re looking for and the opportunity to have the conversation, comparing and contrasting different endings when the child is ready for that.

Topher Payne is a fantastic artist who took on the task of “fixing” some very troubling books.  I love the alternative endings to two books I have on the my shelf: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.  Click here to check those out.

I hope this is helpful!  Comment below if this brings to mind anything I can help with.

In support of you,


P.S. I’ve been receiving webinar requests!  If your PTA or parent group is looking for a speaker, request a presentation here.

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