[DWJ] OT: Diana Hendry

rohina at shaw.ca rohina at shaw.ca
Fri Jul 14 02:30:52 EDT 2006

Jeebus. That really made me cross. I am currently dealing with an 
extremely dreamy, creative non-conformist child, and we do tend to get 
criticism that she isn't doing what everyone else is doing. Thanks so 
much for the warning. That appalling Rainbow Fish book has a similar 
message, and I like to know what to avoid.


Belben, Philip (Energy Wholesale) wrote:

>I found a horribly depressing children's book at the BookCrossing
>national meet-up in Birmingham.  The book is called "The Carey Street
>Cat" by Diana Hendry, and... well, here's my review of it:
>The book (for young children) tells the story of Jenkins, who is adopted
>as a stray kitten by one of the residents of Carey Street. As he grows
>up, he gets to know all of them, and they all want to claim him as their
>cat - a dispute only resolved by a suggestion that they all share him.
>Jenkins likes to jump, and one day he jumps so high he comes down with a
>piece of a star. He thinks it is wonderful, but all the humans in Carey
>Street are frightened or awed by it, and Jenkins finds that he has no
>friends any more.
>Not surprisingly he gets quite hungry, until one family can tempt him
>away from the star with some food; they take the star, douse it with
>water, and seal it up in a plaster ornament.
>The star gone, Jenkins can regain his old life with his human friends,
>and everyone is happy...
>... except me. What is the moral of the story? To me, it is that there
>are wonderful things in the world, but we mustn't strive to attain them
>because it will mean we are alienated from society, in a life not worth
>living, until we give them up; and that the things that seem so
>wonderful are not really worth having.
>I sincerely hope that Diana Hendry doesn't believe this, and didn't
>intend it as her message, because it is diametrically opposed to my own
>belief: that there are wonderful things in this world, which we must
>strive to attain whatever other people may think, for _without_ them
>life is not worth living.
>But I am still depressed that people are printing books for young
>children that seem to say that we shouldn't strive for what is wonderful
>in the world.
>I almost dare not release this. But I'm against censorship, so off it
>will go. (It used to be a library book. I hate to think how many
>Northamptonshire children had their ambitions stunted...)
>So, what do people think?  Am I over-reacting?  Do you think this is
>deliberate preaching on Hendry's part?  If not, what possessed her to
>write such a book?
>obDWJ:  I cannot imagine her writing such a depressing book.
>Thankfully.  (Compare "Yes Dear", for example)
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