Good thing I never had to put up with it...
Dick and Jane was long gone by the time I started school We had phonics.
But I get the point. Here's a really cool piece on how we're boring our children to death be feeding them endless drivel and bowdlerized namby-pamby crap rather than teaching them real lessons about life. This is a great bit:
"If stories for kids are boring, kids certainly aren't going to want to read. And if they don't read, then they can't take much advantage of all the knowledge available in literature. That's saying bye-bye to all the accumulated wisdom of the human race. So, in order for children's stories to be interesting and exciting, they have to contain all that "awful" stuff. On top of that, kids like the stuff.
As an experiment, read some dumbed-down stories to young children, and then read some of the real fairy tales, and watch how they react. I've done this many times. They quickly get bored with the first, but always remain fascinated by the second. And they want more, even if they don't fully understand everything."