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31 of the Most Inappropriate Children’s Books Ever

Reading bedtime stories is one of the best parts of parenthood. We’re cuddling, we’re using our imaginations … but every once in a while we wind up reading about some seriously messed up, creepy, or otherwise questionable sh*t. There are entire forums dedicated to the “Goodnight Nobody” page of Goodnight Moon and what’s with that sinister old lady who just sits there watching? In fact, it seems like a lot of the books we read have a disturbing character, problematic message, or racist undertones that I am never quite ready to explain to my five-year-old daughter.

Here is a round-up of the biggest offenders, in my opinion. Some of these books date back to my childhood, and some I’ve only recently had the pleasure of despising. To be fair, I love a lot of these stories, but when you think about what they’re really about … well, maybe you’ll decide to shove them in the back of the bookshelf for a while, just like I did.