Georgetown University Law Center Professor-Law, Popular Culture and Dr Suess books...
I find myself completely exhausted, sitting on my hotel room couch, unwinding from 14 hours straight on my feel, dancing, instructing, demonstrating...Zumba...
I turn on the TV. I want to sit, do nothing, be lazy. I have a few options, weather (boring), HSN (dangerous), C-SPAN. Don't know what this is but it catches my interest.
There is a woman talking when I tune in. She is part of a panel of distinguished educators debating Dr. Seuss books and other childhood books and the twisted story lines, deeper meanings, underlying truths the books are trying to deliver. A quote-"the child is vulnerable...and the fate of the world is on their vulnerable shoulders...the child's economy is compromised by the reality principle...blah blah blah" The right to be heard vs the right to not be heard.
You may disagree with me...but... I totally don't get it. I see the world differently than this panel. I don't see Dr. Suess as someone who puts down parents in his books, showing children as only being free to explore once parents or guardians are out of the picture. I have never taken offense from a Dr Seuss book. Is it possible that the star belly sneeches aren't about racial equality as this panel would agree, but rather just human behavior???
This panel believes that in Horton Hatches the Egg -When the egg comes out half elephant half bird that this little thing is the first transgender, hermaphrodite in children's books. They go on to say Horton is the first Queer guardian as he hatches this egg while the mother of the Egg has once again deserted her child. hmmm...
In the Cat in the Hat the parents are depicted as strict, uncaring, not fun, filled with rules and rigidness who have left their kids (again) alone with this cat...honestly I read these books growing up and read them to my own kids and I just don't see the deeper meaning between the lines.
It reminds me when I would watch movies growing up and someone (not mentioned) would say "I didn't like the movie...It was so obvious of their agenda...it was all about free health care" or "that movie was all about gun laws" Maybe I'm wrong here but I see movies as being just for entertainment, not reality, and nothing with which principles I am going to change my life on. I don't think there are near the hidden agendas that others might. Again, they're not real, they're just movies...that's why you go to the theater, to see something different than your own life, otherwise you'd pop in a home movie. It's like saying that Finding Nemo is about animal rights and not having fish in tanks b/c fish are people too...just not my style.
I view children's books as time parents spend with their kids. There are few things as precious as reading to your kids. That one on one time. My dad would always say "reading is the gateway to knowledge, and knowledge is power"
I didn't live with my dad growing up. My parents were divorced when I was 2, so my dad had to be creative with his quality time with his children. Reading, often times over the phone, was one of the ways he connected with us. He did this time and time again. I would get scared, call up my dad and he would read from "The Big Red Book"-as we called it. This was precious time together. My favorite story was Babar. I don't know how many times we read this story, but it was too many to count. What was the hidden agenda behind Babar??? No idea. Babar was a symbol of time my dad spent reading to me, comforting me, making sure I felt important. Call me crazy but I hope my kids view "Horton Hear a Who" or "Horton Hatches an Egg" as time with mom. Time away from the busy schedules, time together, not me reading stories about unfairness, discrimination, social stigmatization.
I don't like to over analyze things. I like to take things at face value and try and see the best in people and things. If we take children's books away due to their "mixed up" messages, than what would we offer in its' stead? More Itouch, game boy??? Please...I'd take reading again and again.