Childhood favourites (Was Oh the horror!)
jstallcup at juno.com
jstallcup at juno.com
Wed Feb 12 17:24:13 EST 2003
About the Giving Tree, I find it hard to believe that Silverstein isn't
being satirical. Everytime I close the book and see his picture, with
him baring his teeth at the reader, I think, he can't mean for me to take
all that seriously!
One children's lit professor I know uses The Giving Tree to show the wide
variety of critical theory that one can apply to a children's book
(Feminist, eco-criticism, she had a whole list, but I'm sorry that I
don't remember it...)
On Wed, 12 Feb 2003 15:30:18 -0600 "Ian W. Riddell"
<iwriddell at charter.net> writes:
> >>> Love You Forever (double bleagh),
> >>I'm amazed at how many adults love this book and think that
> >>children will too. Don't get me wrong, I love Robert Munsch, his
> >>"Paper-bag Princess" "Stephanie's Ponytail" and "Thomas' Snowsuit"
> >>are some of my favourite books to read and read aloud. Kids adore
> >>them. Kids respond less enthusiastically to "Love you forever". I
> >>think it's some adults' idea of what kids will like - but it's
> >>too heart-on-the-sleeve for kids to sit still for more than once.
> >We all *loved* _The Paper-bag Princess_. So much fun. I'm not
> >about _Love You Forever_, but I'm getting a bad feeling that it was
> >something the kids other grandmother read to them. Becca thought
> >so, but found it disturbing to remember too closely!
> >Another one I'd have expected to find on people's lists is _The
> >Giving Tree_. Seemed to have pride of place in a lot of
> >in the US when we were there. I did a violent swing against it
> >(we'd loved reading a lot of Silverstein's poems to Becca) after
> >clicking onto the fact that the Tree was female, and her role was
> >give and give and mutilate herself to try to satisfy this horrible
> >Boy. (Yeah, Weird Readings Ltd. - that's my name.)
> I truly *hate* that book. Yes, because the tree is female and she is
> only happy when she is sacrificing herself for the boy who does
> nothing to deserve anywhere near that level of sacrifice and never
> even thanks her. Great. I think people believe it's about learning
> be generous and loving - when I think it's about teaching people to
> allow themselves to be used (is this what a Strong Reading is?)
> In the two and a half years I worked at the book store, I never
> recommended it to one customer, never made sure we had "enough"
> copies in stock. If someone asked for it I gave it to them, if they
> didn't then they didn't hear about it from me!
> I, of course, own a copy (go figure) that I won't get rid of because
> my dearest friend in all the world gave it to me at a very special
> time. It's not on the list of books that I'll give to my goddaughter
> or nieces or nephews though (and I seem to be the designated book
> Fairy tales are not true--fairy tales are important, and they are
> true, they are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons
> exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be defeated.
> G.K. Chesterton
> Ian W. Riddell
> iwriddell at charter.net
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