2 Popular Children's Books Every Mom Should Toss Out Now

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sh*tty mom book cover

An excerpt from the very funny book Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo & Mary Ann Zoellner. Reprinted with permission by Abrams Image.

Worst Children’s Book: The Giving Tree vs. Love You Forever

Any mom who follows the parenting model of the protagonist in Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree is creating a monster. An entitled asshole who will expect the women in his life to allow themselves to be dismembered in the pursuit of his temporary happiness.

Mothers of sons: Remember, you are raising our daughters’ boyfriends and husbands. Please don’t let our girls hook up with a jerk who thinks he’s special because he does the dishes once a month. Put down The Giving Tree and pick up Curious George. If our daughters must get knocked up, let it be by a gentle animal lover who has a good job.

Mothers of daughters: Protest at any bookstore that sells this douchebag manifesto. Demand that it come with a warning label: “Reading this book may cause your son to expect someone else to fold his laundry for the rest of his single life.”

As bad as The Giving Tree is, it’s a thousand times better than Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever, a most deceptive chil­dren’s book. The cover looks harmless enough: a 2-year-old, raising hell in the bathroom. It starts fine, with Mother sing­ing a sweet lullaby to her baby about loving him forever. Yup, done that. Now we witness the passage of time. Two pages later, Mother crawls into her young son’s bedroom and spies on him as he sleeps. Aside from the crawling, she is still in normal territory.

This continues as the boy turns 9. The reader is beginning to feel slightly uncomfortable. How long can Mother keep this up?

No need to wonder. Turn the page. Guess who just snuck into her teenage son’s bedroom for a late-night cuddle? Quick, call the police! A horrible Oedipal relationship is in the making. Everyone knows that when teenage boys go to bed, they don’t sleep. They masturbate. Relentlessly, all night long, until their fingers break off. Then they switch hands. Then they use their feet. Even zoo monkeys are appalled. Any mother who sneaks up on her teenage son when he thinks he is alone in the dark is going to be hit by cross fire.

(Tip: Stay out of your teenage son’s room until he goes to col­lege. Then enter it with a power washer and safety goggles.)

Oh, the story’s not over. Instead of just embracing the empty nest, Mother takes to stalking her son and his new family. (The son’s wife, meanwhile, is nowhere to be found. He probably stabbed her to death, as he screamed over and over again, “Leave me alone, Mother!”) On the last page, Mother is presumed dead, and the son sings to his own baby.

Despite the insanity, you will be sobbing. Love You Forever reminds you that children get old, and so do their parents—but not before every possible emotional boundary is crossed.

Thanks, book! Let’s see ... It’s Tuesday night, you had a long day at work, and you got home late. You had a total of 45 minutes with your kid tonight, and the last five of it was a grim warning that everyone you love will die.

You won’t sleep tonight, and it won’t be because you’re masturbating.

Remember: Nobody dies in Goodnight Moon.

Image via Sh*tty Mom

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SueMN... SueMNanaMama

Yeah, but NOT Curious George!  Seriously.  That stupid little monkey?  Gets into trouble. All.The.Time. "Now, Curious George, do NOT take your new bicycle across the street."  Right?  And then he disobeys, the bike gets stolen/broken/crushed, whatever, and some kind soul busts out with a BRAND NEW BIKE.  Or whatever.  Name your scenario.  Every single time, the day is SAVED, and that dumbass monkey never ever suffers any consequences.  He's as bad as Spongebob.  Just say NO.....!!!!!!!

theon... theonlyone433

people please ease up on LOVE YOU FOREVER. when our mother had a massive stroke in 2011 and she would become combative, the only thing that would calm her was when my 17 year old nephew would hold her and recite LOVE YOU FOREVER from memory!!

Dana Stinson

This article was pointless. The books are to show your little one's how much you love them. Its not like you will actually be crawling into their room ever. You must be disturbed if you can think such disturbing thoughts about children'sbooks. I am appalled.

Tendr... TendrelovinMaMa

the4mutts completely agree. Well said.

Natalie Saengchanh

thats ridiculous. youre ridiculous and quite frankly you are the pervert here. looks like nothing can be clean and pure these days, it must be defiled by dirty thought such as yours. eww

Natalie Saengchanh

well, at least she is living up to her book title..


Mary Sullivan Reed

OMG - thank you for that!  Love you Forever is the worst example of parenting, obsession, no boundaries, etc. It was NOT written in jest - there is nothing comical about it in any way!!    The first time I heard it, at a pre-school Mother's day Tea, the other mother's were crying and I was thinking "what is wrong with all of you people?".  The mother in this book in Insane!!  This book is about a mom who obsesses over her child, disrespects his privacy and breaks into his house!  Maybe if it had been a daughter - it wouldn't have been soooo bad.  I don't believe kids will be screwed up - but it is a terrible view of mothering and I NEVER read it to my children.  Glad to see I am not alone.   So many other good books to choose.  

Mary Sullivan Reed

Had to say one more thing.  We seem to accept Helicopter parents today - who cannot let their children fail, do things on their own, not realizing that when you do too much you never allow them to build self confidence.  "forever, and ever, my baby you'll be!"  What"??   I had two children, I now have 2 adult offspring.  They were my babies, now they are my friends.  My daughter, at age 18, went away to college in NY, we live in So. Calif.   So many people asked me how I could let her go or told me that they would not allow their "child" to go that far away.  It wasn't about me - it was about Her.  But some parents today just don't get it.  This book reinforces some pretty backward values.

MrsEa... MrsEazyLefty

While the writing of this column is freaking hilarious, I disagree that The Giving Tree and Love You Forever are terrible books. They're two of the best books out there! A Tree Named Steve is great, too! Just sayin'.

Danrose Danrose

 Oh my goodness, get a sense of humor ladies, this was written in jest obviously, and I thought it was pretty darn funny! simple smile

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