Monday, October 7, 2013

These Stories are Not Okay

I know I've posted - and so have like a million other parents - about how inappropriate the good ol' Nursery Rhymes are. You know, how macabre they really are when you come to think of it, and how much damage they probably cause to an unsuspecting kid's psyche ( Rock a bye baby until you come crashing down, anyone?) So that part is done.

But when your children's playschool sends home weekend reading, you dutifully sit down with them and read those stories at bedtime - and the horror is relived all over again.

This weekend, we have Jack and the Beanstalk. So this dumb and disobedient kid exchanges his family's cow for some 'magic' beans, his mom smacks him and throws them out of the window, and the next day he looks out and (gasp) - a giant beanstalk. Naturally, he climbs to the top. A castle. A Giantess. She's kind enough to feed the greedy little fella, but when her husband returns, she tells Jack that he must hide. She distracts the husband and then Jack proceeds to steal numerous items from their castle on repeat trips, and then repays her kindness by killing her husband in the end. And of course, with the ill-gotten gains, Jack and his proud mother live happily. ever. after.

The values that this precious story imparts are too many to list.

It's a tough call between the above story and Puss in Boots though. There we have a guy who leaves his riches to his two elder sons and his cat to the youngest. In a thrilling twist, the cat is one who can talk, and for reasons that I have yet to comprehend turns out to be a bit of a prissy with a boot fetish. He demands boots and then proceeds to swindle the king of the land with stories about how his poor Master is actually the Marquis of Carabas. Here, too, an unsuspecting giant is slayed so that his castle may be presented as the home of the fake Marquis. The impressed King who is obviously the materialistic sort, offers his daughter's hand in marriage to Puss's master and they all live happily. ever. after.

Why? Why?? WHY???

More importantly - can you please recommend some good reading material for children in the age group 3-7 years of age? Much obliged. Thank you.