Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book list review and thoughts

I came across this blog today (on this dark, rainy day) and I enjoyed reading the list of books. I love books, and always request them for my son's birthday. I would much rather him have an exploding bookshelf than an exploding toy box. 

The list from this blog includes 75 character building stories. There are a few I've read (Giraffes Can't Dance, Where the Wild Things Are, Alexander And The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day) and many I hope to research and add to our collection. 

The very first thing I notice is a complete lack of Dr. Seuss from this list. I get that it's author's preference, but wow. The Sneetches, The Lorax? Nope. The Sneetches seems to be a lesser known book, one that I hadn't read until I had a child of my own. It comes (I think) only in a collection with other stories (What Was I Scared of, The Zax, et al); but I still think it's one of the most important Dr. Seuss books available. 

I perused the comment section of the blog, seeing that other commenters noted the same absence as myself, but was a little disappointed to see a few say "It teachers that physical appearance shouldn't matter." or something to that affect, because really, it teaches so much more. The first time I read it, I was a little blown away by the fact that Dr. Seuss wrote The Sneetches in the middle of the civil rights crisis in the US. It's about so much more than physical appearance. It's about prejudice, tolerance, and treating people equally. Or, treating Sneetches equally. :) Dr. Seuss snuck this gem of a story-a huge character builder if you ask me, into our children during a time when it was needed most. I read it often to my son, and I impress upon him the importance of being nice to everyone, no matter how they look or how others treat them; he is to treat everyone the way he wants to be treated.

A side quirk I noted from this blog that I just wanted to discuss was a mother who commented that she did not like the book Pinkalicious, and didn’t think it earned a spot on the list of character building books. She said that the first time they read it, she didn’t like that the main character (and forgive me, because I’ve never read it) talked to her mother, stating that her daughter was very impressionable and she didn’t think it was appropriate for her to see someone else doing it and try to mimic the behavior.

That is all fine and dandy to me, it really is. There are books I don’t like, and books I don’t care to read to my children. However, I will choose not to read them and leave it at that. The commenter I’m speaking of specifically chose to glue the pages that she didn’t like together and continue to read the rest of the book.

Hmm. I’m all for personal choice, it’s your kids, your life, your books. But why not just put it away until your daughter can better understand that the little girl is acting badly and know better than to act that way? That just seemed a little odd to me. For one, that’s nearly sacrilegious to a book lover like me to damage a book permanently by gluing the pages together. And another, that’s just an odd form of censorship to me. I had a few friends in elementary school whose parents recorded over scary parts, sad parts, or swearing in children’s movies. It would just switch to a blank screen while that particular moment passed. Again, I’m all for ensuring what your children see isn’t harmful to them, but I can’t help but wonder why you wouldn’t just skip it or just not show it?

No judgment, I just really thought that was interesting. 

Just a few bits for thought today. As I said, it's rainy, and cold. And spring break, so I'm sitting in a quite house all alone while the boy is with his grandma.   

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Nobodys Nothings said...

gluing the pages of a book together is just SICK. all books have a lesson inside them, even if it's one that can't be understood until an older age. it sounds to me like the person in question had some kind of personal vendetta against the subject matter, and was working hard on being bitter rather than learning from whatever experience she had. some people just appall me. that woman should have just dropped the book off at the library as a donation or a goodwill store so someone with more sense can enjoy it. what a waste.

i LOVED the sneeches when i was a kid. i used to grab a huge pile of books late at night and read under my covers. the sneeches and bartholomew and the oobleck were just a couple of my favorites. :D

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