Friday, November 25, 2016

You Can't Do That In Children's Books

Apparently some "experts" are concerned:
Some biologists are apparently very concerned that, in books geared toward children, animals do things like talk, wear clothes, and live in homes made for people. That would never happen in real life. So why is it happening in a book? Um . . . well . . . because . . . it’s a book!

Slightly less ridiculously (but only slightly), the article says that some of these scientists are concerned that many fictional books for kids contain incorrect biological information. One entomologist, for example, is having a hissy fit about The Very Hungry Caterpillar because butterflies emerge from chrysalises, not cocoons. Jeez, Eric Carle. Get your act together. (Caterpillars also don’t eat lollipops, but maybe we can let that slide since the title specified that he was very hungry, not just a little bit hungry, and all kinds of weird things happen when you’re starving. Even to caterpillars.)

Similarly, there is concern over things like animals from different regions inhabiting the same story, and landscape illustrations that include “inaccuracies.” Not to mention featuring only well-known animals and leaving out animals specific to the regions where the readers live. Or, as the article puts it: “Kids who grow up reading only about tigers don’t know to teach their own kids about the colocolo.” Coming soon: The Colocolo in the Hat. A cautionary tale reminding youngsters never to put headwear on wild animals.
Remember, kids-killjoys come in all ages...

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