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Things I Hate: Bad Children’s Books

Forget your teen journal, where you scribbled away late at night before bedtime.

Some of the worst writing ever is to be found in children’s books.

I’m not exactly sure how these verses ever got past an editor, but it seems that even the most tortured of rhymes and the most illogical of scenarios are allowable if the only people reading them are kids.

Except, they aren’t, because the adults usually have to read the books aloud first, all in the name of promoting literature.

Take, for example, a book that belonged to the Munchkin, and has survived to be experienced by his sister. I abhor reading this book, but because it has such excellent touch-and-feel elements, I grit my teeth and try to make the best of a bad situation.

Here are some of my least favorite sections:

When Violet’s in her jammies and she’s ready for her bed.
She curls under a warm, soft quilt, a pillow for her head.

I ask you, how in the world can it be a pillow for her head if she is under the freaking thing?  It bugs me every time.

Come into Violet’s living room and touch her big round chair!
The curtains, blown in the summer’s wind, are smooth like Violet’s hair.

The author really had to stretch to make that one fit the meter. Awkward.

Or how about this one from another book, which is also visually very fascinating, so I had to keep it. But oy, the wording!

“Cluck, cluck, cluck,” says mother hen, “save some food for me.”
“Of course I will,” says Freddie, “If you lay an egg for my tea.”

Oh great, so extortion is now what they’re teaching kids these days, eh? Nice to know.

This book is an always-popular lift-the-flap, but the person who wrote it (the same author as the first mind-numbing book above) must have sat there for weeks trying to reconcile this next verse, and she doesn’t even really succeed.

The desert sand is dry and white.
But elephants? Nowhere in sight!
A cactus shades a brown lizard,
An armadillo, coyotes, little birds.

I cringe every time I have to mangle the word “lizard” to make it even close.

Listen, I know not everyone can be a Theodore Geisel, but can the publishing world be a bit more discriminating?  Please?

Think of the children!

Sunday Brunch Buffet

Some fire and brimstone for your Sunday morning.

Beware the Spa Factory!

Father and son create the ultimate DIY spacecraft project.

Needs more cowbell!

Working moms, you’re good to go.

The many faces of Johnny Depp.

Easy graham cracker pie crust.

The god of cake.

A guide to a safe and green Halloween.

Monday Teeny Poll

A whopping 76% of you disapproved of this mother’s choice to include her daughters in her homebirth, despite their wishes otherwise. I agree with you. In her story she says she didn’t “have the time” to make alternate plans for her daughters when her labor began. That is a poor excuse, as it was obvious they didn’t want to be involved, and I’m going to say that 99.9% of mothers make alternate plans for siblings, even for a planned homebirth. Everything going perfectly is not always a guarantee, and there should always be a backup route in case something goes wrong. And if there are mothers who don’t at least have a plan B, then shame on you. Maybe you should get your parenting license revoked.

Today, I’m taking a fashion tack, as Heidi Klum has introduced a new activewear line for New Balance, with a few of the designs coming from Andy, a Project Runway contestant.  Nothing like free designs, eh Heidi?  The outfits, pictured above, run from about $98.00 for the pants, and around 170.00 for the dress and hoodieThe top is $118.00.

photo via

Hell, in a Handbasket

 

It saddens me to hear that a fantastic children’s show on PBS is being cancelled due to lack of funding.  Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman is a fun science-based game show where kids compete for prizes.  It has long been a favorite of the Munchkin, and we know many other kids who love it too.  It somehow manages to be both hilarious and educational, and that, my friends, is a tough job.  But, the show succeeds admirably.

Uh, or should I say, succeeded.  This will be the last season to air, and I for one, am sort of pissed.

You know why?

Because while award-winning shows such as Fetch! are being cancelled because there isn’t enough money to teach children the principles of science in a way where they actually want to watch, and wind up learning almost by accident, networks like this one are about to launch.  Yup, that’s right, a network partially owned by Hasbro, the second-largest toy manufacturer in the U.S.

So there will be no shortage of shows based on toy lines such as G.I. Joe and Littlest Pet Shop. Oh joy.

Good to know we’ve got our priorities straight, isn’t it?

Things I Hate: Justin Bieber Dolls

 

He looks a whole lot beefier in doll form, doesn’t he?

Teen idols are NOT supposed to have doll versions of themselves just in time for the holidays.

They just aren’t.

If you are at an age where you are still playing with Barbies, then I’m not sure you should know exactly who Justin Bieber is or desire a plastic facsimile of him.

Because we all know the “experiments” done with dolls, and nothing good ever comes of those.

And if you are at an age when you are no longer playing with Barbies, then you owning the plastic version of the object of your affection is all sorts of wrong in more ways than I can count.

Although I do have to say they seem to have gotten the blank stare just right.

When Biebers attack!

Monday Teeny Poll

We are apparently quite anti-man cleavage here at Teeny Manolo, as 56% of you clocked in as disapproving. Another 39% stated that only a few men could get away with it, and if you voted that way, please state your case in the comments, because I can’t think of who those men are.

Today I’m all about the anti-child restaurant in North Carolina. Well, to be fair, they have placed a sign up on the window that says “Screaming children will NOT be tolerated.”  The Olde Salty Restaurant claims that they simply want parents to take their loud children outside until they calm down.

Do you think this is a good idea?

Halloween Horrors (Otherwise known as Teen and Tween Costumes)

These costumes are fantastic examples of when the company idea guys sat around a table and said, “Hey, what wholesome concepts can we make completely slut-tastic?”

I present the evidence, all of these being teen costume offerings.

The regular Alice in Wonderland is apparently dressed like a nun. So they decided to hack a foot or so off her skirt and light up her crotch area. Methinks the Queen would not approve.

Bats are so not sex-ay. But they’ve aimed to fix that with a skirt up to there and a bustier! Because everyone equates bats with boobs, right? This one is even worse because it’s marketed to tweens as well.

Little Red Riding Hood certainly delivers the goods with this costume! Can also do double duty as an Oktoberfest beer server uniform.

This Disney princess looks as if a different kind of sleeping is her goal.

And now I must go and have a drink and wonder why the sluttiest of the costumes are the ones that sell out first.

Sunday Brunch Buffet

From Allison “Sex on a CD” Goldfrapp. Supposedly this song was on an episode of House, which I don’t watch, but damn this song almost belongs on a porno. Boring video, but the song is totally worth it.

My holiday weekend has been filled with a feverish, snotty, vomiting ten month old. How’s yours going? Hopefully much, much better than mine. On to some entertainment!

Mosquito sounds in a frequency only they can hear to keep teens away at a retail center. Sounds like a bad idea.

GPS trackers for kids on the school bus.  What’s next, little chips implanted in their necks?

George Lucas posing with an all-star cast.

A fun interview with the producer of the PBS show Curious George.

If this study turns out to be true, it’s absolutely fascinating.  And sort of terrifying at the same time.

I’ve TOTALLY had the grocery store thing happen to me.

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