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13 Children’s Books That Will Make You Ugly Cry

Photo credit: akeeris

I recently moved to a new house. As I unpacked all of my kids’ books, I started to make a special pile of them that I was going to put up on a very high shelf. So I wouldn’t reach for them very often. Why, you ask?

Because of the extremely embarrassing effect they have on me.

These are all books that make me sniffle — and sometimes full on ugly cry — when I try and read them to my kids. I admit that I’m a big softie, so let me clarify something: some of these books are really, really sad. I challenge anyone with kids to read the first book on this list and not get choked up.

Yes, even dads.


  • Love You Forever by Robert Munch 1 of 13
    Love You Forever by Robert Munch
    Are you kidding me?! This book is so sad that it should come with a warning sticker and a box of tissues. And maybe a large glass of wine for mommy after the sobbing subsides.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein 2 of 13
    The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
    This book fills my eyes with tears. But they are mostly tears of furious anger because I want to scream at the tree to stop being such a doormat and to tell her that she's turning this kid she loves so much into an over-entitled, using, co-dependent dickhead.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson 3 of 13
    The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson
    She dies. She dies alone in an alley in the dark and the cold. This is isn't a bedtime story — it's every mother's freaking worst nightmare.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams 4 of 13
    The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
    You know what this book is about? Dangerously ill children and abandoned, heartbroken critters. Sniffle. Talk about a party.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm 5 of 13
    I'll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm
    It's about a little boy whose beloved dog dies. And he's devastated. Because his dog died. I should not be allowed to read this.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • Oh, The Places Youll Go by Dr. Suess 6 of 13
    51q8qHZ0fGL._SX260_
    It's just so awesome. So very, very awesome. There's a reason this man is revered and loved by everyone in the whole, wide world.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell 7 of 13
    Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
    This book was revolutionary in its time and is still wonderful at helping children feel empathy for animals. But they do so through reading about their suffering and for some of us (who may be 38 years old and enormous crybabies) that makes it a tough read.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown 8 of 13
    The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
    The thing about this very sweet book is that Margaret Wise Brown just sort of nails it. She conveys perfectly how much I love my kids and that I will do anything, including turning into a fish, to keep them safe and well. Which is why I get all choked up every single time.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems 9 of 13
    Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems
    The problem with this one was that I wasn't expecting it. There I was, happily reading the new Mo Willems book to my kids (his biggest fans) when the ending came. Very sweet and appropriate and a little sad and BAM — I'm blubbering and the kids are like, MOMMY, ARE YOU OK? WHY ARE YOU CRYING AT BARNES & NOBLE?
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola 10 of 13
    Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola
    You know what's way worse for a little kid than having their dog die? Having their Nana die. Yeah. It's so flippin' sad you'll cry your wittle eyes out.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • Charlottes Web by E.B. White 11 of 13
    Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 5.36.24 PM
    It's an amazing book. But even if you prepare your kids for the fact that Charlotte dies at the end, everyone may cry anyway. Because it's sad as hell to lose someone you love — even if that someone is a fictional spider.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant 12 of 13
    Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant
    Is it just me? I understand that we need these books to help our small ones through the loss of a pet. But that's the ONLY time we read these books, right? We don't just pick up a book about dogs dying when we feel like having storytime on a random Tuesday.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman 13 of 13
    Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
    This book is a tad bit cheesy. It's not THAT touching. Not at all. Especially not the part about how much the kiddo was wanted and loved even before he was born … WAHHHHH!!! Come give mommy a hug!
    Photo credit: Amazon.com

 

Plus check out the 10 oddest books for toddlers, from the baffling to the just plain weird

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