It’s Banned Book Week: 10 Kid Books We Wish We Could Ban From Our Own Homes

Banned Book Week

While the rest of you are honoring Banned Book Week by reading To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Catcher In the Rye, or Are you There God? It’s Me Margaret (so good,) Jaime and I are having a hilarious text-a-thon about which kid books we would ban from our own homes. Not inappropriate or scandalous books, but simply annoying books that we want to hide from our kids so that we never have to read them again. Is one of your favorite children’s books on this list? It’s not you, it’s us. We swear.

Here is the Pretty Prudent: 10 Kid Books We Wish We Could Ban From Our Own Homes

Skippyjon Jones – If you want to speak in a nonsensical, rhyming, caricature of a Mexican accent for the next hour, a Skippy Jon Jones book is perfect for you.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses – It takes the King (with the help of every eligible bachelor in the land) a really, really long time to figure where those naughty princesses are off to every night and you get to ride along for every last painful minute of it. Also, dead mother, of course.

Pinkalicious – Pinks is a bit too precocious for my taste (Don’t get me started on Junie B. Jones) and Peter, ugh, we get it, your brother is annoying, like so annoying that I don’t even care to find out if you learn your lesson about not being an A-hole to the tooth fairy. I can’t go on. I do like Emeraldalicious.

Flotsam – It’s a great concept for a storybook but nothing makes me want to take a long walk on a short dock more than a text-less book that requires me to make up every last word of a story. This book is gorgeous and magical and won the Caldecott Medal. I feel like a bad person.

What Do People Do All Day? – Apparently if they are women; they mother, do hair, are a nurse, or kitchen help. Four jobs vs the hundreds of jobs male animals do.  I feel a little bad for adding Richard Scarry to the list, I loved this book as a child. Maybe, however, I would have been a scientist or professional athlete or a mail carrier had RS provided a wider variety of female role models.

Pancakes Pancakes – JUST. GIVE. THE. KID. SOME. PANCAKES. Sorry Eric Carle, no one is safe.

No Cell Phone Day – Oh, happy birthday Dad, our gift to you is a fun day that we don’t let you use your phone. It was mom’s idea but we’re going to trick you into thinking it was me. It’s so annoying the rest of the time when you, ugh, check emails and make calls to run a business and provide for our family so we are going to hide your phone(s) to teach you a lesson. In the end we are going to give you a new phone as a gift (to further show our control over you) but the battery will be dead. Psych!

Chicky Chicky Chook Chook – Chicky, Chicky, chook chook, chick chick chick. Chicky, chicky chook chook, peck peck pick. Fizzy, Fizzy, buzz buzz, fizz fizz buzz… Oh, you are 18 months old and learning a language? Let’s just take this opportunity to speak complete nonsense.

Who’s Making that Smell? – Spoiler Alert: I totally knew it was going to be Anabelle taking a dump from the first page. Typical Anabelle.

The Ghost-Eye Tree – Have a brave child who is afraid of nothing? Scare the crap out of her for the next two years with this lovely story. She will never look at a tree the same way. Nighty Night sweetheart.



Cindy Callas

Since I am a new grandmother, I have not tired of any book yet. I would read it 20 times, no matter what it was, if one of them wants it. #thatsjustthetypeofnonnaiam


A perfect example of the difference between a grandmother and a mother! I look forward to the day I can enjoy reading the hungry caterpillar eating all kinds of crap while I hand my grandchild back to his/her parent to scream bloody murder that they want a cake and lollypop and, and, and. Perhaps then I will enjoy reading the ever so horrifically long and outdated Berestain Bears – omg, I threw all of those chauvinistic lazy papa bear books away!

Elizabeth Craib

Thank you for listing the Skippy John Jones books. They are true tongue twisters that make my husband and I completely crazy. I’d also add to the list all of the Minecraft how-to books. My sons wants them for bedtime read aloud…talk about a bedtime mood killer!


I f***ing hate Skippyjon Jones. I don’t even think kids can understand it if they don’t speak Spanish. I speak it, but I hate the sing songy flipping back and forth between languages. I banned my kid from getting any of these books at the library or book fairs unless he would never ask me to read them.
And @Cindy, we probably HAVE read these books 20 times and more, which is how they wound up on this list. Not all books stand the test of time and/or multiple readings.
There are enough books in the world that I should enjoy story time as much as my kid does.


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