In over four years as a parent, I’ve read quite a few books to my children. Some of those books are classic stories that deserve to be passed down from generation to generation. Others…are not.
And so I am introducing a new feature to my blog: Crappy Children’s Books!
In this series, I will share some of the horrible children’s books I have come across and try to convey just why I find them to be so awful.
Please don’t think that I’m hating on these books simply because they’re aimed at a young audience. There are many books that manage to be written with a high level of intelligence even though they’re designed for children.
The books I am focusing on are ones that are truly awful with stories that insult the intelligence of even toddler readers.
The first book I shall look at is Barbie: A Mermaid’s Tail
Merliah Summers is a young surfer who learns an amazing secret about her heritage: She’s half human and half mermaid! Not only is she half mermaid, her mother is the queen of the underwater kingdom of Oceana, making her a princess!
As she learns more about her mermaid heritage, she learns that her mother has been imprisoned and the throne has been usurped by her evil aunt Eris. Merliah must find a way to stop Eris, and restore her mother to her proper place as queen of Oceana.
Why it sucks
There’s several of these Barbie books out there. Most of them are based on direct-to-video movies that are little more than commercials for Barbie toys.
Basically, the book is an attempt to summarize an hour-long commercial in just a few pages, which makes for a mind-numbingly poor reading experience.
Oh, and because one of these books isn’t bad enough, there’s also a sequel.
We actually read the sequel before we read the first one. Before reading the original, I felt much like how my friends and I felt after seeing the movie Mortal Kombat: Annihilation without first seeing the original Mortal Kombat: I was confused by the plot and thought that maybe if we saw the original, it would all make sense.
So we raced through the streets of Washington DC hoping to reach Tower Video before it closed at midnight. (Wow, I am REALLY dating myself here) We were probably the first people to ever burst into Tower Video at 11:55 PM breathlessly asking the employees if Mortal Kombat was in stock. (To our delight, it was indeed still in stock!)
After watching the original, we realized that the sequel was still an incoherent crapfest. And that’s pretty much the same way I felt after finally reading the original Mermaid book. (Except honestly, the original Kombat movie was decent.)
All the girls in the book are supposed to resemble Barbie dolls, so at least they’re kind of hot looking.
Now that I think about it, that’s probably a bad thing. First of all, having the characters all look like Barbies is probably contributing to future body issues for many of the young girls who read it.
And really, when I’m reading a children’s book, the last thing anyone should want to feel is “turned on.”
So yeah, this book has no redeeming features. It sucks. BURN IT!