One of his classics is Love You Forever. I just read it to the girls tonight (they pick the bedtime stories) and I was reminded of why he's not my favorite kid's author.
For those of you who may not know what this book is about, it follows a Mom and her little boy through all of his different stages growing up - from the terrible two's to the teenage stage (and beyond!). And at each stage, no matter how frustrated she gets with him, when she goes into his room at night and sees him peacefully sleeping, she goes over to his bed and picks up her sleeping son in her arms. She rocks him back and forth and sings this song:
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
Towards the end of the book, when the Mother is sick and dying in her old age, it's the son's turn to rock his mother in his arms. And he sings: "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my Mommy you'll be."
Then on the final page, he goes into his own baby daughter's room and starts the whole tradition over again.
Sounds sweet right? What's not to love about this book? Well, I'll tell you what. THIS page (that comes right before the part where the son & mother switch places with the whole rock-a-bye-baby thing):
The mom drives across town at night, with a ladder strapped to the top of her car. The words on this page (in case you can't read then) say:
"If all the lights in her son's house were out, she opened his bedroom window, crawled across the floor, and looked up over the side of his bed. If that great big man was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she rocked him she sang: I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be."
Hello! Am I the only one who finds that just downright creepy? I do get slight relief when I see that the picture shows he's sleeping in a single bed, and not sharing a bed with his wife already! But seriously...I just keep picturing Les' Mom driving across town at night with a ladder on the top of her car and creeping into Les' bedroom to rock him. And it just weirds me out!
I dunno...I just can't get over it. Sorry, Mr. Munsch. I know a lot of people find this book very touching and sweet and it brings them to tears (ahem...Michelle!). But everytime I read it, I'm just creeped out.
But that's just me.
(And don't even get me started on his "We Share Everything!" book....)