Under the department of, "What were they thinking when they wrote this, and why didn't these characters lose their children or get arrested?" I'd like to chat about some odd stories. Feel free to add your own analysis or additional titles in the comments.
1. Green Eggs and Ham. Is it just me, or is Sam-I-Am harassing this poor unnamed chap? And does the dude get Stockholm Syndrome at the end or what? Although he was quite sure at the beginning of the book that he wouldn't like green eggs and ham in any location you could name, he suddenly LOVES them and thanks his stalker dude for going to all this trouble. It is out of control. Stockholm, I'm telling you. The Sam-I-Am guy runs over people with cars and presents mice and goats to him as suitable tablemates. Fer real.
2. The Clifford series. They let their grossly oversized dog roam all over the neighbourhood, causing havoc. Why is the dog-catcher or the National Guard not doing something about this dangerous animal? Just its poop alone is enough to cause a neighbourhood nuisance, nevermind what would happen if the animal got overzealous and rolled over onto someone. This is not a normal family, folks. This is some sick animal husbandry sponsored by Monsanto or something. I dunno.
3. No list would be complete without the Cat in the Hat series. WHY is Mother out and what is up with the strange guy in the outlandish hat? Every time I read this, I keep thinking the Mother should NOT be leaving her children alone and where is CPS at a time like this?
I suppose from a Freudian perspective, Mother is the absentee parent who only vaguely figures into the story (as in, "What would Mother say?"). It is also notable that the father's conspicuously absent, although he has $10 shoes just lying around in the closet. $10 was a lot of money back in the days this was written, but somehow? They couldn't afford a babysitter.
The fish. The fish is the superego, right??
Apparently, though - thanks, google - there are a whole series of lessons on how The Cat in the Hat incorporates the themes of id, ego and superego. Really. I got something like 10 pages of search results. Maybe the fish really is the superego.)
4. There are probably about 50 others. The plotline of We're Going on a Bear Hunt book Rose brought home from the children's library at the preschool demonstrates extremely poor parental judgment throughout. Just imagine taking an infant and a toddler on a bear hunt with no rifle, and traipsing through the river, the mud and the snow without appropriate protective gear. The incompetence is astounding.
But anyway, there are probably a good 50 more books out there with wackadoodle parenting. I don't get why many of the truly funny and cute books for little children seem to be so... emm - twisted? - when you think about them. I'm sure there is some psychoanalytic website that covers the "howcome," but I guess I didn't type in the right search words.