Clay loves books. He wants us to read to him all the time. He particularly loves the "Sesame Beginnings" series, which feature all the Sesame Street characters and are geared towards specific ages.
His favorites are the ones with pop-ups and flaps that you can lift/close. So Big! features Baby Elmo doing all kinds of things, and the last page is a big pop-up of Baby Elmo. Peekaboo has lots of the Sesame Street characters in it. On each page, you lift the characters' hands (flaps) to show their eyes, so all the characters play peekaboo with the reader.
Well, it WAS great. Until Clay started dismantling all of his so-called friends. Clay got ahold of So Big! the other day, and Baby Elmo is now decapitated. He doesn't pop-up anymore. His bottom half is pictured on the page, forlornly. When we turn the last page, Clay looks pretty disappointed, but unfortunately, Baby Elmo was mutilated beyond repair.
Ditto for poor Zoey. Once a proud denizen of the Peekaboo book, she is now an amputee. Clay blithely ripped off one of her hands a couple of weeks ago. I tried taping it back on, but the tape doesn't withstand many readings of the book before it weakens again. I'm trying to decide if it would be cruel just to throw the disembodied hand away. Any advice here?