These classics are beloved by children all over the globe. However, many of these books seem strange when they’re reread as adults.
Mumsnet, a UK-based website for parents from all over the globe asked them to share the stories of their children that they loved as kids but found strange when reading them to their children.
The thread was initiated by Elfrida VIpont, a mother reading The Elephant and the Bad Baby with her children.
British parents have been reflecting on the disturbing books that their children read on Mumsnet. People mentioned Changes by Anthony Brown. This book tells of a young boy who is alone and hallucinating strange events, such as a kettle becoming a cat.
The Elephant and the Baby Baby sees a chef, butcher and salesman chase down an elephant when the baby that he’s carrying is not saying ‘please’
One person said that Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont was a strange tale, ands invited others to share their own examples
She said, “It struck me how odd it is. She asked, “An elephant rides a baby to get a lot of food. Then everyone gets mad at the baby for saying no.”
‘Then there’s the Long Slide with the 3 stuffed animals that climb a giant slide, vomit, meet some witches etc and don’t seem to get any pleasure out of the experience.
“Am I unreasonable? Or were certain books written for children in the past just plain weird?” Are there any other great ones?
Another mother suggested Conrad the Factory Made Boy by Christine Nöstlinger.
Her words were: “Conrad, the boy that a single woman ordered.” According to my memory, he was brought in a huge tin. He needed an opener to help him get out.
In Conrad the Factory-Made boy, by Christine Nöstlinger, Conroad arrives naked in a tin and needs to be freed with a tin opener
In the original version of Love Your Forever, by Robert Munsch, a mother cuddles with her adult son
Marvin from Marvin Wanted More is Marvin. He’s a starving sheep who can’t stop eating and eventually eats the entire world.
One parent said they found the ‘goodnight nobody’ from Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown to be ‘nihilistic’
Another said of Changes by Anthony Browne: ‘It’s kind of about a boy who appears to be having hallucinations. He’s been told by his parents that “things are going to change”.
‘He’s at home on his own and all the furniture started turning into animals. Then at the end his mum comes home with his new baby sister – and that’s the change they were talking about. It’s really odd.’
A third said of Marvin Wanted More by Joseph Theobald: ‘My son used to love it. The world is its sheep. The sheep realizes that it is alone and throws everything away.
Another said, “I will put forward Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. “It’s moving, very touching and gives me chills. As a kid, I was given a copy and thought it strange.
“The mother who was very strict about me gave her son a copy to read as an adult. This was the last nail in my coffin for loathing the book! The mother crawled into her bedroom window to rock her child to sleep.
The parents said Love you Forever by Robert Munsch is creepy, not emotional. One cited Big Biscuit as a tale about a boy who devours so many biscuits that he has to be one.
One post stated that “The Wolf and the Seven Kids” used to make me nightmares. The wolf takes 6 children from mother goat, and she goes to sleep. One of the stories recounted was about the Grim Brother’s fairy tale, The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats.
“Mother goat is back. The remaining child tells her the story. Mama goat finds her babies alive after she cuts the stomach of a wolf.
“Gets children to fetch stones, puts stones into wolf’s stomach and sews him up. Wolf awakens feeling thirsty, goes to the Well and drowns. Everyone is happy.
Pipi Longstocking and Anthony Browne, Changes have some disturbing plot points that are worth noting