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so ask already!!! > Kids books for an unnatural book hating kid

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message 1: by Mariel (last edited Feb 23, 2011 12:01PM) (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) My neice is turning six. She hates to read. (She's in trouble in Kindergarten because she refuses to read during classtime. She'd rather not. I KNOW she knows how.) She threw her Christmas books (her father chose them) on the floor. I know what I'd like to read if I were her age but I was not the same kid of kid as my neice. She doesn't like to suspend reality. Talking dogs turn her off big time. "Dogs don't talk!"

What to get a kid who doesn't like talking animals? Or fantasy?

Her sisters love Dora the Explorer and Max and Ruby. I know Savannah hates Scooby-Doo. She does like Barbie.


message 2: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) I know she liked to heckle her former nanny when she was on dating websites. Maybe there are humor books for little kids I could get her...

She probably would like Disney Princess stuff.


message 3: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) I know I was iffy on the princess thing because she's already way too into how she looks. But the fairy tales is a good idea!


message 4: by Mariel (last edited Feb 23, 2011 12:43PM) (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) That's a good idea. Chandra writes really good ones, I know.


message 6: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
you can try some things on my mark harmon shelf:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...

that was for a children's lit class, and many of those are nonfiction picture books, so they would probably be around the right age, and for the nonfiction titles, there would be no talking animals.

if you need any details about a particular book, i can supply them, RA style.


message 7: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'm going to make a list when I go shopping.

She tells me constantly (in a disgusted tone) that I'm "Silly". Sad sigh. I'm hoping she's young and moldable.


message 8: by Jasmine (last edited Feb 23, 2011 07:00PM) (new)

Jasmine | 455 comments I would go with pictures. I mean you can't know what's going on in her head, but maybe reading is feeling too hard. I couldn't really read till I was 9 and I loved audio books and picture books* before that.

also my mom has all the new crazy popups and my cousins love them.

*also comic books. Bone/tintin that sort of thing.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Ohh! I love this question! Some books my kids have enjoyed:

The Night Pirates complete with girl pirates!
Brownie and Pearl See the Sights: probably aimed younger than 6, but very girly in a good way, and adorable.
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and its sequel Frankenstein Takes the Cake: funny, great art.
Parents feel a little divided about the series, but kids almost universally love them: the Skippyjon Jones books.
And aimed a little older - chapter book style - the Franny K Stein books are great. I'll try to come back with links for these last two.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

The first Franny book is Lunch Walks Among Us.
The first Skippy book is, duh, Skippyjon Jones.


message 11: by Deb (new)

Deb (debs913) Get her parents to read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and the other Flavia books by Alan Bradley to her. Flavia is an 11 year old misanthrope with a delightful penchant for poison. Perhaps having some personal attention from her folks AND a good story, might make reading more attractive to her.


message 12: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) I got for her the Skippy Jon for Christmas and she had no interest in it. She's afraid of my chihuahua so that probably didn't help. I think it is a great book.

I went with the princess suggestion from Elizabeth. She seemed more excited over it so that was good!


All of these look really good and I think I'll try them out on the other two girls.


message 13: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) I know! I keep saying "She's only six". Her mom still loves princesses...


message 14: by Jason (new)

Jason Brown (Toastx2) (toastx2) | 9 comments hey mariel-

Branching out of the fantasy should be pretty easy, getting her into more normal books could be cakewalk, it could just a matter of choosing things she finds believable.

i would suggest some of the classics.

anything ramona quimby, sounds like she might find some similar characteristics in her. a bit headstrong and matter of fact.. could be a great gateway book series

heck, anything by judy blume or beverly cleary could be good choices

books like 'the littles' could be good choices, a little fantasy, but still humanoid

'mr poppers penguins', funny, but no talking animals

if she isnt into fantasy, that doesnt mean she couldnt be later, but work her in with real world stuff in the meantime.


message 15: by Jason (new)

Jason Brown (Toastx2) (toastx2) | 9 comments AND THEY ARE NOT PRINCESS BOOKS!!


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't know. Princess books seriously piss me off when I am forced to read them, but they are very attractive to a certain princess set of kids, my daughter being one. I knew a boy growing up who hated to read, and his folks hooked him in with comics, even though they had a sort of pinched, unhappy feeling about the violence & stupidity to be found in (some) comics. I feel the same way about the princesses: I try to steer around the worst of them, but (maybe) it's important to find kids books that appeal, even if the appeal is troublesome in some way. Books so often are treated like drudgery for children - read this to increase your moral fiber!

The author/illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky writes incredibly beautiful children's books that are often based on fairy tales - with princesses! Especially his Rapunzel. Wow.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you!!!


message 18: by Kathrina (new)

Kathrina | 50 comments Have you read the Charlie and Lola Comic Relief Book series? Their precocity and cynicism may be just right for an anti-talking-animals kind of reader.


message 19: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 455 comments I second the ramona quimby recommendation, although kindergarten might be a little early for that. but I loved those as a kid


message 20: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) I was obsessed with Ramona as a kid.

I didn't know Craft wrote books!


message 21: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 455 comments I was obsessed with the littles as a kid and ms frisby and the rats of nihm, but I didn't learn to read till late, so I never know what 6 year olds in the real world read.


message 22: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) I loved Nihm, Suess, Narnia, Boxcar children, the Little House on the Prairie, Avonlea.


message 23: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 455 comments I had audio books of all the dr. suess books. I loved that.


message 24: by Jason (new)

Jason Brown (Toastx2) (toastx2) | 9 comments Jasmine wrote: "... till late, so I never know what 6 year olds in the real world read."

i learned pretty early, so i am out of touch for the same reason, opposite direction..


message 25: by Jen (new)

Jen (missonethousandspringblossoms) | 60 comments A Sabuda pop-up is a thing to behold. My daughter loves the Junie B. series and is six, but she has brothers and loves to read.

Charlie and Lola is a great suggestion, especially because it is possible to get the videos from a local library or Netflix and tie them into the books.

There is a princessy book called Pinkalicious that I hatehatehate but my daughter did not. I volunteer at my daughter's primary school library three times a week and that book is always checked out, along with Purplicious and Goldilicious. The kindergarten girls also check out books on pets like cats, dogs, horses, and rabbits all the time.


message 26: by Natalie (new)

Natalie (nkmeyers) | 10 comments @Mariel & anyone else who knows a little someone who HATES reading,

Here are a few tricks for kids who throw books and hate reading:

1)give gifts that look like books but aren't reading books -diaries w/keys, tattoo books, maze books w/tiny gel pens, books that are candy containers, etc. Til the format is no longer something she hates -she will stop judging a book by its cover if when she opens one there are not always words in there!

2)Give her CHOICE instead of books by taking her to the library once weekly, either you, or her sitter, or her parents . . .shouldn't be for long 15-20 min at her age. Tell her she has to choose 2-3 books and that videos/audio books are fine too -she can choose one of those in addition to each book.

What she is learning is how to learn her own tastes and choose by trial and error. The library is better for this than a bookstore because she can hate something and take it back, read three pages, hate something and never open it again, etc. At the library there is NO GUILT, NO SHAME in not liking a particular book, just take it back and try again!

The magic happens when sooner or later she will learn to choose stuff she likes and be able to go in there and pick her own stuff and check it out without an adult telling her what to do. She may not love books by then, but she'll know better what kind she likes and she wont HATE them all!

Bookstores are not off limits -they are a great supplement -there she can buy books she wants to keep, look at displays, see different kinds of books, etc. But don't substitute the bookstore for the library because it is not so easy a place for kids to teach themselves to choose well.

Kids often get scolded if they buy a book and don't read it or don't like it. They often only get to choose one book, etc. There's a place for that, but not during the time when she's learning to choose and not HATE books.

3)try these two books -not really as gifts more as Hey would you look at this and tell me what you think or see if you like it:

Uncover the Human Body: An Uncover It Book -Kids love this book and there is a similar DK Book. They also like to look at photos of animal babies in utero. ditto for illustrated books of world records, weird but they like that stuff.

The Silver Pony: A Story in Pictures -this book has no words, but it is long -abt 1.5" thick and beautifully illustrated -the reader makes up the story they imagine goes w/the pictures, there is no right or wrong way to read the book, you can start reading at any page and stop at any page, etc., making it perfect for storytime or self-reading or simply browsing. Many kids who hate to R E A D love looking at this book and creating a story from it. It is a different kind of reading that comes more naturally to some kids.

Good Luck!

Mariel wrote: "She hates to read. She doesn't like to suspend reality. Talking dogs turn her off big time. "Dogs don't talk!"
. . . What to get a kid who doesn't like talking animals? Or fantasy? "



message 27: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
did she end up liking any of these books?


message 29: by Taylor (new)

Taylor Oh, I just realized that the Boxcar Children series was marvelous. Like Scooby-Doo, but the dog doesn't talk. :)


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