That’s… Really NOT Okay

I love children’s books and everything about the moments I get to share with my kids while reading to them, and now, them reading to me. (*sigh*…How fast they grow.)

I love that, “Just ONE more book, Mommy…please?!!” are the chants I hear as their last stall tactic before bedtime.

But not all children’s books are created equal…as our very own book reviewer, Audrey DeSimone, will tell you. She’s read enough books to know what has the magic and power to entertain a child and even captivate them, vs. those books that are forgettable, and worst, regrettable.

Without doing That’s Dangerous! the justice of a full book review, I’m going to put it in the regrettable category.

Here’s a description from the publisher, “This audacious little book for children ages three and up is a catalog of “don’ts” sure to make kids squirm and squeal with delight–and parents laugh out loud. Jumping down the stairs, sticking your fingers in a fan, swallowing thumbtacks…That’s Dangerous!

Now here’s my description: a book of illustrations, by a former graphic novelist, which depict kids in every major harm-causing situation a parent dreads and spends nearly all their time trying to avoid. Smiling, happy kids kicking bullies is funny…kinda. The smiles continue as they drive Dad’s car and walk on nails…not likely, but I get the attempt at humor.

But then there are the doozies…like chipper little stick figures trapping themselves in the washing machine, slicing their hands off with knives, drinking poison and pointing a gun at their own head….all with a playful reminder that That’s Dangerous! And what’s most interesting is that Amazon saw fit to omit those images from the book preview online. Probably best to keep those fun disciplinary moments as a big surprise for parents and gift-givers.

I’ve logged countless hours flipping the cardboard pages of Leslie Patricelli’s do’s and don’ts books like Yummy Yucky and No, No, Yes, Yes…and the only thing bigger than my sense of humor is my ability to take things in stride. However, I didn’t crack a single smile at this irresponsible book.

But as with everything else in my home and yours, we are the gatekeepers who decide what enters and stays. And this book did not make that cut.

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