15 Most Disturbing Children's Books You've Ever Seen

Today we will share the 15 Most Disturbing Children's Books You've Ever Seen

We're all familiar with the classic children's books that every child learns to love and cherish in their youth. Many of us are also aware of the disturbing undertones that some well-known books have, but we forget about them as we grow older. 

here are 15 of the most disturbing children's books you've ever seen - but probably don't remember reading.

15 Most Disturbing Children's Books You've Ever Seen


Some adults enjoy reading children's scary books, not because they particularly enjoy stories about anthropomorphic mice, but because the most disturbing children’s books are hilarious in their absurdity. 

If you’re wondering what the worst creepy kid's stories ever written are, you need to look no further than this list of the weirdest and most disturbing children's books

You might not want to read the most inappropriate children's books ever to your kids or buy them as gifts for anyone else's kids, but you'll probably enjoy reading them just for the laughs!

What is it about children’s books that makes them so much better than other kinds of books? Is it their innocence? Their creativity? 

Or maybe it’s just because reading to kids when they are young helps to cultivate their love of reading throughout their lives. 

Whatever it is, if you think children’s books are only for kids, then these 15 disturbing children’s books might change your mind...for good. 

These kids' disturbing books are so gruesome and twisted that even adults will find them disturbing! 


1. In the Night Kitchen 


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In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak 

The book itself is dedicated to his parents: "To Sadie and Philip," next to Mickey hovering in his dough plane. At the same time, he also drew some personal matters into the book, describing his own brush with death. 

There is a bag of shortening with the label QE on it at Gateshead, the hospital where he stayed in England. 

And baking powder labeled "Phoenix Baking Powder," a label that captures the spirit of rebirth during his months of recovery. 

In a TV interview -- Sendak was in his late eighties at the time -- Bill Moyes asked him, "Are you obsessed with death?" 

Maurice Sendak: A little. It's so intriguing. 
Bill Moyes: How to say? 
Maurice Sendak: It's a complete adventure. 

In "The Kitchen at Night," a lilac flag waving in the wind above a bottle in the distance, under a star-shimmering sky, said "Champion." 

There is a joking reference here to a nurse in Gateshead who called him a "champion" as he struggled to regain consciousness during his recovery. He felt himself pulling a rope and crawling out of a well when he heard her call him "champion" in a British accent. 

This painful memory appears on this flag, intertwined and mysterious. Even if you don't know the allusion, you can find a quiet victorious atmosphere everywhere. 

Moyes: Do you think of the Holocaust? Sendak: Of course, my parents used to say to me when I was playing stop ball and I was late for dinner, "Your cousin Leo doesn't play ball. He was in a concentration camp. He died." Shamelessly having fun while they get cooked on the stove. 

In "Night Kitchen," Sendak takes the image of a child being cooked on a stove and makes it his own. Those fat bakers — on the edge of scary and hilariously exciting — stuffed Mickey into a pie and into the stove until he popped out and saved himself. 

He kneaded the dough into a plane and flew it over a huge milk bottle. He jumped into the bottle naked and came out covered in milk, croaking like a rooster in the purple dawn. 

The image of the child on the stove was transformed into an interesting picture. The grandiose scene in "The Kitchen at Night" shows the vulnerability of children. 

A transcendent vision is embodied through exaggeration, deformation, and magnification. What elevates the book's sheer joy are the shadows of disaster, the secret and familiar darkness, and the surging melancholy; even those colors, and the rich, velvety blue night, deepen the comedy... 

Mickey used a cake to dissolve various obstacles and enemies and avoid and defeat death. Surviving is fun, with the sublime trembling and deep awe that gives this book its dignity and nobility. In those earlier drafts of this book, The brutal element is slightly more pronounced.


2. The Butter Battle Book 


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The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss 

The Butter Battle Book, Dr. Seuss's classic cautionary tale, introduces readers to the important lesson of respecting differences. The Yooks and Zooks share a love of buttered bread, but animosity brews between the two groups because they prefer to enjoy the tasty treat differently. 

The timeless and topical rhyming text is an ideal way to teach young children about the issues of tolerance and respect. Whether in the home or in the classroom, The Butter Battle Book is a must-have for readers of all ages.


3. Momo 


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Momo by Michael Ende

At the edge of the city, in the ruins of an old amphitheater, there lives a little homeless girl called Momo. Momo has a special talent which she uses to help all her friends who come to visit her. 

Then one day the sinister men in grey arrive and silently take over the city. Only Momo has the power to resist them, and with the help of Professor Hora and his strange tortoise, Cassiopeia, she travels beyond the boundaries of time to uncover their dark secrets.

If we can maintain such a childlike innocence, we will not grow old slowly. The time allocated to everyone is the same, and the time spent grows in our hearts, slowly opening, gradually withering, and constantly circulating. 

In fact, we Don't worry that we are wasting our lives, if we are all doing what we love, we are all doing meaningful things!!!

I think this is the same as the little prince, the bigger the reading, the more different it feels. Comparison prefers the second half of the chapters that struggle with Men in Gray. As we grow up, especially modern people, do we really less and less cherish the "Present"? 

Always busy in order to have more time to control the future, but forget that the most precious time is only the present. I really like the birthplace in Never Lane Nowhere House... Hour Lilies... The description is so vivid.


4. Are You My Mother? 


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Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

A baby bird goes in search of his mother in this hilarious board book edited by Dr. Seuss. This easy-to-read, must-have classic about a baby bird in search of his mother is a perfect read-along all year round!

When a mother bird's egg starts to jump, she hurries off to make sure she has something for her little one to eat. But as soon as she's gone, out pops the baby bird. He immediately sets off to find his mother, but not knowing what she looks like makes it a challenge. 

The little hatchling is determined to find his mother, even after meeting a kitten, a hen, a dog, and a Snort. The timeless message of the bond between mother and child makes this abridged, super-simple edition of P. D. Eastman's Are You My Mother? a must for beginning readers.


5. Sarah, Plain and Tall 


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Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan 

"Sarah, Plain and Tall," tells a very ordinary story, but it conveys deep and kind emotions in beautiful language. To be precise, this is a story about a stepmother, and how children accept a stepmother. 

The stepmother enters the new family without the conflict we usually think of. The whole story is calm and peaceful. The prose and poetry-like language outline the soft and beautiful grassland farm life. 

The lovely children love the new mother so much, and they also worry from the bottom of their hearts: the new mother from the far sea, she Can you adapt to this new home with no sea, only grassland, livestock, and small houses? Will she choose to leave?

     The 12-year-old sister Anna tells the story. 8-year-old brother Kelly is the liveliest child in the family. Sadly, the mother passed away the day after giving birth to her younger brother. So, Dad Jacob supported the family alone for seven or eight years after his wife's death, raising his siblings. 

Anna always remembered that her mother liked to sing when she was alive, and her father sang too, but over the years, her father had never sung. They miss their mother. But what's the use of remembering sadly all the time?

     Dad advertised in the newspaper asking for help, a wife, and a new mother for the children. Anna and Kelly were as happy and full of anticipation as Dad.

     Connecting with their new mom Sarah started with letters. Sarah's home is by the sea, where seawater, sea fog, fishermen, seabirds, whales, and all kinds of sea fish make the children sound very new. 

And Anna thought that they lived on the grassland, nothing special except fields, grass, and sky. And the little house, maybe Sarah wouldn't agree to come, really worried. Sarah's kind and funny reply made the children happy. 

What's more, Sarah's letter says she can sing. The younger brother Kelly read the letter over and over again. I don't know how many times I read it so that the handwriting in the letter was blurred and the creases were broken.

     Sarah decided to come to the grassland to live in the spring and summer to socialize. In the next month, if she adapts to life here, the priest will marry her and her father. 

The vast grasslands are blooming with flowers of various colors, the air dances with fresh air, and the little woodpeckers will eat quietly on the young tree trunks. 

Dad wakes up very early, combs his hair smooth and shiny, and wears a clean shirt, making the children feel ridiculous and happy. Maybe it's really a new mother this time.

     Sarah was tall, plain, not very pretty, looking a little lonely, but kind. Actually, she is not ugly. Sarah brought her pet cat, "Seal," and the gifts of the sea for the children - conch shells and smooth, crystal-white stones. 

Sarah looked out over the plain and felt the undulations of the grass resemble the undulations of the sea. Sarah is stubborn and has her own way of doing things. She likes flowers, likes to draw, and likes to sing. 

She also strives to be as strong as a man. Do farm work and even learn to ride a horse. Kelly is very worried about Sarah learning to ride a horse. 

He even wanted to pretend to be sick or hope that Sarah fell while she was learning to ride so Sarah wouldn't leave them on her own and go back to the beach. What a pure and lovely childlike innocence!

     Sarah did learn to ride a horse. And he rode to town by himself.

     However, she finally came back with gifts for the children and their father. It turned out that she went shopping, haha.

     Sarah said, "Although I always miss my hometown, the truth is that I miss you even more."

     Sarah bought back the colors of the sea—blue, gray, green, and three colored pencils. Children's understanding of the sea will be further improved.

     Sarah bought back candles, and the family of four ate candlelight dinner. Also bought nasturtium seeds. In order to teach the children to sing, I also bought a songbook.

     Sarah smiled at Dad, they were getting married soon.

     The story is set in the 19th century in the central state of Massachusetts. At that time, what the women could choose to do, and whether the story was too unrealistic, all these are not important. 

Two sensitive and lovely children desperately want their dad to have a love and a complete home, and everything they care about seems to determine whether Sarah stays or not.

     And Sarah decided to stay, why? Out of sympathy for the two children who lost their mother's love, love for the simple Jacob, yearning for life on the prairie, or a firm belief in their future happy life? 

I think there are all these factors. There is no need to hesitate to choose happiness and optimism. The innocence of the two children in the book, the kindness, and simplicity of Sarah and Jacob, and the delicate description of the scene, made me feel peaceful and sweet when I read them.


6. Matilda 


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Matilda by Roald Dahl 

I think kids will love Roald Dahl. It's not that the stories he writes are great, it's that he's real, which I call "bad taste." 

The language he writes is not the warm, sweet, and childlike style that is often handled in children's books, but the truth that treats adults and children equally. 

For example, in Matilda, the parents scold Matilda, and the fierce headmistress scolds the students' language, and they don't play mosaic at all. 

Although some schools will ban students from reading Roald Dahl's books, community libraries can Borrow them, and Roald Dahl's books have always been particularly popular, and have been borrowed for a long time. The children must be delighted to see the irony of the school in the book and the "discipline" of Matilda's parents and headmistress.

I like Matilda very much, this little genius has read so many books at such a young age, the calculation is the speed of light. 

Although I know it's fiction, I still secretly admire it, and I feel that I am really weak. I have read so few books in thirty years, and my knowledge is so limited. 

Seeing Maltilda's pranks on her parents made me so happy, my stomach hurt from laughing. Miss Trunchbull's vicious image is also vivid and animated. 

When the headmistress was so wicked that she was finally defeated, I had a little regret - never to see her grab the student's hair and throw it out the window like a discus, nor to see her force the student to swallow the whole chocolate cake, and she twisted students' ears or grabbed their legs and hanged them upside down.

Although exaggerated, isn't the reality a bit similar? I still remember news reports of teachers physically punishing students, twisting their ears to make students’ feet off the ground, scratching their hair, and beating them are commonplace. 

Roald Dahl himself also had an unpleasant school experience, and the shadow of childhood is enough to affect his later life.

Roald Dahl's book is very fun and interesting to read, so I made an appointment with the library for other works and biographies of him. 


7. Little Blue and Little Yellow 


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Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni 

When we learned about this book, it was from the teacher. At that time, the teacher did not make any comments on the book, but just let us read our own thoughts after reading it, whether this book is worth buying.

        From an adult's point of view, the first reaction of many people is: cheating, right? How can there be such a book, thanks to the author's idea?

        But I think it's a very good book, please look at the topic of color from a child's point of view.

        When we hand over our children over and over again, this is yellow, that is blue, and this is red. Children often don’t remember very well. Even if they say it right at the time, they forget it soon after, because there is no memory point at all. Information, just a noun, has no connection with the real thing.

        We also often see many children say when they don't know how to call a color: grape color, orange color, etc. Yes, because this is closely related to their lives, and this is the point of memory.

        Let's go back to the book "Little Blue and Little Yellow", which is to look at colors, the difference between colors, and the changes in colors from the perspective of children. The story turns Xiao Lan and Xiao Huang into beings like two friends. 

They have parents, they have their own home, and they have good friends. Gather together and become yourself again. There is also the latter part of the story when they find out why it turns green, their hugs with their parents are repeatedly telling the children that blue and yellow together will turn green.
       
 When children read this book, they not only recognize blue and yellow, and they will turn green together, but through this picture book, they become interested in recognizing colors. This is the real purpose of this book, so there will also be no such series of books as Little Red and Little Blue, Little Red and Little Yellow.
        
When I practiced reading picture books to my children, I really felt the charm of such a picture book. The child would always hold this book and let me tell her about it. When I saw the building blocks of the same color, I would like to introduce my friends to me. Say this is a little blue, this is little yellow.


8. Monsters Eat Whiny Children 


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Monsters Eat Whiny Children by Bruce Eric Kaplan 

Scaring kids into behaving by telling them bad things will happen to them is a time-honored tradition, but this book seems a little light on the “teaching a lesson” part.” 

It’s just a series of scenarios in which terrified children are packed into food while monsters talk about how excited they are to eat them. And then the kids escape because the monsters are ALSO whiny. In this format, it kind of just feels like a mean-spirited threat. 

This cautionary tale about whiny children being eaten by monsters is upended when the monsters cannot decide how best to prepare their meal. A whiny child salad doesn't work because there's paprika in the dressing. A whiny child cake won't do because the flour spills all over the floor. 

Whiny child burgers are out of the question because the grill is too hard to light. When the persnickety monsters finally decide that whiny child cucumber sandwiches are the perfect solution, their whiny children have escaped. At least the children have learned their lesson...for now.


9. Go the F**k to Sleep 


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And number 10 is "Go the F**k to Sleep." Written by Adam Mansbach and published in 2011, this one is likely the most infamous of all of the books on this list. It became an Amazon bestseller a month before the book was even released. 

"Go the F**k to Sleep" was inspired by the author's personal anguish over his lack of sleep while nursing his then two-year-old daughter. What started off as a joke received so much positive feedback online that Adam got to work writing the children's tale in the story of a classic rhyming bedtime story.


10. Who Cares About Elderly People? 


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In fairness, this book is actually about why you SHOULD care about elderly people. The problem is that the title sounds like it’s saying, who cares about THOSE people.” 

The Who Cares series helps us to learn about ourselves, our world, and our responsibilities and fosters caring to share, and loving instincts. The latest, Law and Order, teaches us that we have to respect the law and the rights of others, and shows what sometimes happens if we don't.


11. Melanie’s Marvelous Measles 


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Melanie's Marvelous Measles by Stephanie Messenger 

This is a book glorifying how great it is to have measles. It’s about a girl who comes down with measles and LIKES it. This book isn’t just saying that vaccine isn’t worth the risk, it’s saying that it’s actually BETTER to get measles… than to NOT get measles. 

Just so we’re clear, measles is a potentially fatal disease that causes a high fever, severe cough, diarrhea, and occasionally, permanent brain damage.


12. I Wish Daddy Didn't Drink So Much 



"I Wish Daddy Didn't Drink So Much." Written by Judith Vigna and published in 1998, this uplifting story is brought to you by the same author as "My Big Sister Takes Drugs," "Saying Goodbye to Daddy" and "She's Not My Real Mother." 

There is a whole spectrum of traumatizing reading material that this author has pumped out. "I Wish Daddy Didn't Drink So Much," tells the tale of a young girl dealing with an alcoholic father. Now, this story initially was aimed at children who can relate to the issue of an alcoholic father but has since seen a spike in sales as a popular gag pregnancy gift. 

That's a disturbing gift to give a pregnant woman. It's like, here, I'm sure the father was drunk when that happened. 

but this is actually about exactly what it sounds like. It’s a serious look into living with an alcoholic parent. We can have a chuckle at it because the title is amusingly straightforward, but lots of kids have probably gotten a lot of help from this book, so let’s give it, and author Judith Vigna, some respect. 

On the other hand, we can be awful people and have a bit of fun. Here’s an excerpt: "I knew it was only Daddy in a Santa suit because he bumped into my bed twice and spilled beer on the rug".


13. My Big Sister Takes Drugs 


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Judith Vigna strikes again! Just like I Wish Daddy Didn’t Drink So Much, this is a serious book for kids about a topic that is difficult to discuss. Also like that book, its title is so blatantly direct, that it doesn’t even sound like a real book title. 

There are a number of other Judith Vigna staples, and yes these are all very real and very much written by the same person: Saying Goodbye to DaddyMy Two UnclesMommy and Me by Ourselves Again, When Eric’s Mom Fought Cancer, She’s Not My Real Mother, Daddy’s New Baby, and my favorite Nobody Wants a Nuclear War


14. Stinky Steve Explains Daddy's Dabs 


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Here’s a book in which a skunk named Stinky Steve, who is appropriately sending up a cloud of green smoke on every single book cover, educates kids on the nature of marijuana concentrates. 

This is part of a series of books about medical marijuana, all starring Stinky Steve. Some other titles are “Stinky Steve Explains Mommy’s Medibles,” and “Stinky Steve Explains Why Papa’s in Prison for Pot.” That last one sounds like a joke, but look, it’s a real thing. 

Cannabis concentrates, whether eaten, smoked, or vaporized are some of the most potent medications on earth. While they are safer than many prescriptions, they still pose some risk to children, especially children who do not know what they are or why they are used. 

Some important conversations are hard to have, but thanks to Stinky Steve, talking to the children you love about cannabis concentrates doesn't have to be one of them! Let Stinky Steve facilitate a conversation about cannabis concentrates and safety today!


15. If a Peacock Finds a Pot Leaf 


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They’re clearly going for the “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” thing here, but this is a little different. Of course, if the peacock finds the pot leaf, chances are he’ll also find a cookie soon enough. 

This is billed as both an educational children’s book and a fairy tale. Basically, Peter, the Peacock finds a special kind of leaf, and all the other animals in the forest tell him how rad it is. 

The first installment of educational children's books about Peter the peacock, start when Peter is going for a walk in the forest and discovers a new leaf, he goes on to meet up with some helpful creatures who teach him the many benefits and uses of Medical Marijuana.

The totally real follow-up book is “If a Peacock Discovers Hemp Island.” 


FAQ: Most Disturbing Children's Books


What is the most inappropriate book?

There are a lot of terrible kid's books out there. But which is really offensive? That might be hard to answer because different things offend different people and opinions vary depending on your sensitivities. One person might find that one book is inappropriate while another doesn't think so, but there are some egregious offenders that stand out from the rest because they just seem awful at first glance and raise some red flags. In fact, those books have become some of the most disturbing children's books of all time with themes and content that you definitely wouldn't want anyone else to read to your kid before bedtime or anytime for that matter.

What books are inappropriate for kids?

It’s not a hard and fast rule that children should only read light-hearted picture books. There are plenty of books out there, like novels and graphic novels, that can appeal to all ages and entertain adults as well as children. And so there is also no need to sanitize a book for it to be appropriate for kids. However, some books will appeal more to older audiences than younger ones, which is why we’ve put together a list of 15 most disturbing children’s books you’ve ever seen. A warning: they may be inappropriate for kids! If you decide to go through our list - have in mind that these are works of fiction, so don't try them at home!

Why are children's stories scary?

Unlike adults, kids haven't developed a sense of danger yet. And they're likely to read scary stories over and over again, which means there are plenty of opportunities for children to develop an obsession with what most would consider frightening material. But that doesn't mean scary books are always bad. In fact, The Velveteen Rabbit is widely considered a classic children's book that helps kids understand important truths about love and loss. However, there are some truly frightening children's books out there that go above and beyond what any kid should be exposed to – especially in literature intended for early readers! For more horrifying stories about kids' books that will scare you silly (or at least give you nightmares)

You May Like Also: Disturbing Children's Books

  • The Muffin Muncher
  • So, You, ve Got a Fat Pussy
  • Act like the King of the Jungle
  • The Pussy Game
  • That's Not Your Mommy Anymore
  • Dick and Jane
  • Little Monkey's Big Peeing Circus
  • Peeping Tom? More like Peeing George.
  • Boys and Girls
  • The Long Journey of Mister Poop
  • If You Give A Kid A Cookie 
  • The Wump World by Bill Pete


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