So wrong. BUT SO GOOD.
There are libraries full of classic books we've loved since we were kids: The Giving Tree , Where The Wild Things Are, Shel Silverstein's anthology of poetry Where The Sidewalk Ends. They inspired us, excited us, and taught us little, simple lessons about life.
… And then there are these 21 books that probably never should have made it to shelves.
Covering a broad scope of "say-what?!" topics from sexually transmitted diseases and domestic abuse to sexual assault and brain-eating zombies, the list goes on and on. Old wisdom says you shouldn't judge a book by its cover … they clearly never saw these abominations of literature. In fact, I once came across a vintage copy of Mother Goose rhymes rummaging through the boxes at a flea market. And I wasn't exactly prepared for what I found inside its pages: rhyming, thinly-veiled stories of drowning kids, sexual assault and rape, even murder! Yikes.
If parents back in the early twentieth century weren't saving for college, I hope they were scrounging pennies for the inevitable lifetime of therapy bills. So I can't help but wonder, what were these writers and their publishers thinking?!
And while I'm sure some of these writers had good intentions (strongly emphasizing the word "some"), a lot of these books take a really weird borderline-traumatizing approach to teaching children how to deal with adult-themed dilemmas. Don't believe us? Check out some of the most cringe-worthy, jaw-dropping kids books you've EVER seen.
You can't say we didn't warn you.
1. Melanie's Marvelous Measles
If seeing the words "marvelous" and "measles" in the same sentence made you cringe, you may want to sit down for this one. Not only does the author praise the health benefits of having measles, she also claims that the book "takes children on a journey to learn about the ineffectiveness of vaccinations and to know they don’t have to be scared of childhood illnesses, like measles and chickenpox." Um, we think we're going to pass on that one.
"The Night Dad Went To Jail"
I like this one reviewer's comment: "How about retitling it 'Daddy is a dirt bag loser and he's never allowed to be around you ever again'!" True that. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"Harpo's Horrible Secret"
This just raises more questions ... like, why is Grandpa so creepily close to Harpo? (Photo credit: openlibrary.org)
AND goodbye, childhood innocence. (Photo credit: goodreads.com)
"The Big Coloring Book Of Vaginas"
Whimsy and erotica all in one! If something could easily fit into a tacky bachelorette party AND a 5-year-old's birthday party, there's something askew. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"Blue Q Grow Up To Be Gay Magnet Set"
Besides the whole idea of this just screaming ignorance, let's take a closer look at the promotional copy for this thing, shall we? "Fashion designer! Gourmet chef! Interior decorator! Figure skater! A fabulous set ... Extra thick to really stick ... " It's currently unavailable. I think that just says it all. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
Aptly titled, considering there are "whimsical illustrations" of dead animal bodies floating in the water there. At least they're self-aware? (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"Please Don't touch my Tomato"
I'm confused. Since when did genitalia become synonymous with fruit and veggies? (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"Um ... Mommy, I Think I Flushed My Brother Down The Toilet"
Better question: How did you get him in a "flushable" state? (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"I Wish Daddy Didn't Drink So Much"
This is brought to you by the same author of titles "My Big Sister Takes Drugs", "Saying Goodbye To Daddy", and "She's Not My Real Mother" so there's a whooooole spectrum of traumatizing reading material. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"The House That Crack Built"
There's no better way to say "your whole life is a lie, kid" than through colorful depictions of people high out of their minds. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"My Mom Has Hepatitis C"
"C" is for cringeworthy. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"If A Peacock Finds A Pot Leaf"
I'd love to see the follow up to this: If A Peacock Gets CAUGHT With A Pot Leaf. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"The Lonliest Ho In The World"
I see what you did there, Santa. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"Monsters Eat Whiny Children"
Monsters also eat kids who don't go to bed on time, sneak cookies before dinner, and generally disobey their moms and dads. DON'T DO IT. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"The Muffin Muncher"
Oh, boy. Someone send this guy a link to Urban Dictionary STAT. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"You Wouldn't Want to Be on the Hindenburg!"
This is brought to you by the authors of other titles like "You Wouldn't Want To Be An Aztec Sacrifice" and "You Wouldn't Want To Sail On The Titanic!" So many historical disasters. SO LITTLE TIME. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"My Beautiful Mommy"
Doesn't look so bad, right? Take a closer look. It's written by plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer. This just sets up your kid to think you'll emerge from surgery in clouds of glitter and butterflies. In one page, the little girl exclaims, "Mommy, your eyes are sparkling like diamonds!" Honey, that's the Vicodin. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"Mommy's Black Eye"
That's a nice, er, kid-friendly illustration of a shiner. (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"That's Not Your Mommy Anymore"
The online review for this one makes me LOL: "That's Not Your Mommy Anymore is an inviting and entertaining story that helps early readers understand that a mom with fresh brain casserole on her mind probably isn't their mommy anymore." When is a kid ever going to find themselves in this situation? And two, judging from the expression on this kid's face, he doesn't look "entertained." (Photo credit: amazon.com)
"Don't Make Me Go Back, Mommy"
This doesn't sound so bizarre until you see the subtitle: "A Child's Book about Satanic Ritual Abuse." Excuse me, WHAT?! Even worse, it's at her daycare... Photo credit: amazon.com