Your Baby is a FAILURE

The Baby Boards coverThe Baby Boards
A Parents’ Guide to Preschool and Primary School Entrance Tests

The tag line on the bottom says “Teach your 3-to 5-year old the skills need to win admission to selective early schooling programs.”  I am simply aghast at the idea of testing babies! Did I miss something along the way? Okay, maybe this appeals to that super-parent that uses the library, but why on earth is it a 1988 edition? (In other words, if you are going to have this kind of test book, at least make it current!)  I have a whole diatribe about testing kids, No Child Left Behind, and decay of education, but I will save it for another time. On a personal note, as a new mother, I worried all the time that my kid wasn’t doing the kid thing according to the schedule laid out in books. This kind of stuff would have just fueled my anxiety as a parent. Good thing I missed this title in my library wanderings when I had preschoolers.

Also as a side note, I cannot stand how this library stuck stickers and barcodes in places blocking off title information.  Am I the only one who likes minimal (and tidy!) book processing?


Baby Boards back cover



  1. I had to comment because I hate awful processing. I supervise the work-study students who do processing at the library where I work and the first rule is “never ever cover information.” The second rule is “ask Ruth if you need to figure out where to put something, don’t just come up with a creative solution.” That was already in place when I took this job and I think our books look much better than most academic libraries’ books.

  2. Isn’t three a little late to be teaching them stuff that will get them into the good pre-schools? Shouldn’t you start in vitro with that stuff?

    I agree about the bar code placement.

  3. You are not the only one who likes minimal and tidy book processing! I have often agonized briefly about how exactly to position a material barcode on a DVD case so that no critical information is lost. (Putting it over a pre-existing barcode is usually a good plan. :D)

  4. “By age 18 months, your baby should be riding elephants, but tigers can be held off until age 2 years. Keep in mind, though, that if your child hasn’t demonstrated mastery of riding at least five different wild animals by age 3, they will not be able to get into the best pre-preschools and will never ever get into the right college.”

  5. Our book club loves to comment on the passive aggressive book processing that goes on at our local public library. Sometimes it is clear the individual intentionally covered the description on the jacket. Jerks.

  6. This book reminds me of an episode of House, where House teaches Cuddy’s daughter how to pass the tests so she can get into a good preschool (and to lie about him teaching her).
    I find the idea of testing small children ridiculous, but isn’t coaching them defeating the point? (and frowned upon?)
    Also, why only worry about your child’s knowledge when it comes time for school? Shouldn’t you just want to teach them stuff for the sake of them learning?

  7. I always felt that this kind of thing is an ego trip for parents. “Oh, my child is eating paste….but she’s getting in the best preschool in town. She must be just developing her creative potential”

  8. Reminds me of the episode of Daria where the parents of the toddler give her the book “Baby’s First SAT Study Guide.”

  9. What’s worse is when the books with the bar codes on them get withdrawn and they CUT THE DUST JACKET UP to take the bar code off.

  10. @Becky–They do that? Every one I’ve seen just covered the bar code with black marker.

    Then again, I feel the librarians at my local library do a very good job with marking things. The only complaint I’ve ever had is that they don’t consistently label books as part of a series. (For those of you who are librarians…if you don’t do this, please start. Just a little sticker on the binding with a number on it will make life a ton easier for people who care about reading books in order, especially since a lot of series are unmarked and the only way to tell if you don’t know the order is to look at the publication information. It’s kind of a pet peeve for me, though not nearly as bad as having a book missing in the middle of a series.)

  11. This is that 80’s-power-trip-overparenting-yuppie stuff. I used to babysit for a few parents like this. They were usually overly controlling and had a lot of power struggles going on with their kids. Unfortunately, this made the kids resistant to anything that seemed “educational.”

  12. Upper right hand corner, people usually nothing on it unless it’s a really tiny books. If it’s a hard back put it on BEFORE you put the plastic covering over the dust jacket. And for the love of all that’s library TAPE IT DOWN AS WELL! Same with spine and property labels. These things peal off without end if you don’t tape it down.

  13. I wanted to chime in on the sad state of processing. I been following this blog from the start and can not believe how bad some of those labels are placed. We put our barcodes on the inside back cover. This helps protect them.
    Only the spine label will go on the outside. My cataloger is so picky she wants the labels all in the exact spot on the spine so they match up on the shelves.

  14. Kirsten, if you get a chance, read a copy of The Kindergarten Wars. It is eye opening, regarding the lengths some parents will go to (especially in New York) to get their kids into the “right” preschools so they can get into the “right” private kindergartens, and so on…up to the Ivy Leagues.

  15. Steve, Karen Quinn wrote a novel called “The Ivy Chronicles”. It lampoons hyper-competitive New York parents hell-bent on getting their preschoolers into elite private kindergartens. Check it out before someone ruins the story by turning it into a movie.

  16. There’s also a funny documentary about NYC parents trying to get their kids into the right preschools called “Nursery University.” It’s definitely worth watching.

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