Yesterday my six year old daughter brought home two library books from school. We normally reserve our family story time for right before bed, and we settled onto the couch, Izzy and I in our pajamas, to read her stories.
The first one was called “Ghost Stories” and I immediately raised my eyebrows at Izzy. She is not a big fan of the macabre. Historically she has freaked out and had bad dreams after viewing programs that another child would likely classify as benign.
So I was a bit skeptical at her choice, but she seemed excited and the introduction described the stories as strange, silly, and fun. I decided to give it a try.
The first chapter involved two siblings trying to spook each other. Pretty harmless.
The second chapter described a cat that died that kept reappearing at the pet shop. Hmmm. A red flag has been raised.
The third chapter was called “The Bully” and the protagonist was a little boy who was being picked on by a girl bully. He got her in trouble and then she threatened to make him pay. See below.
Then they dropped the bomb.
The following page reads:
What kind of elementary school library book is this?
Here is the page in its entirety; when I first laid eyes upon it, I began to nervously giggle, as I tend to do. Flustered, I informed Izzy that this book was no longer appropriate.
I am still going to get you???? Apparently, it gets worse. Fortunately for us, we never had the chance to finish this heartwarming tale.
We quickly moved on to the next book, Snoring Beauty.
*A quick word on Izzy’s usual library selections: vary rarely do we deviate from the heinous and barf-suppressing Barbie collection. Princess books and other girly-girl garbage seems to be our go-to literature in 1st grade.
Snoring Beauty started out ok. It was clever and irreverent, with eye-catching illustrations.
|There are the King and Queen, celebrating their new baby girl. Cute, huh?|
Now I really have no one to blame but myself. It’s called Snoring Beauty and is an obvious take-off of Sleeping Beauty, with which I am quite familiar.
So there is really no excuse that I was shocked and dismayed to read the following:
|Did it help that I used the Paint program to point out the offending phrase? Are you impressed by my technical skills? You should be.|
Are you effing kidding me?
Seriously, though, did I not see this coming? The curse of the witch? The whole point of the story? You have to admit, it was bad timing on the heels of the bully who got sick and frickin died.Also, run over by a pie wagon seems excessively violent.
At any rate, bedtime stories were officially suspended for the evening, lest my daughter develop scary thoughts in her head and invent one more BS reason to summon me to her bedroom after being tucked in.
Admittedly, I am a bit conservative about what we read and watch, but with a sensitive child who appears to be susceptible to scary material, it has usually served me well to err on the side of caution. Maybe some of you are reading this and shrugging your shoulders, thinking, “My kid would think that was hilarious!” Perhaps my next child will have a thicker skin.
I guess next time I won’t complain about Barbie, whether she shows up as a journalist, a teacher, a photographer, or a veterinarian in her next adventure. (For real, she changes professions every single book. I mean, who is she trying to fool?)
Sleep tight, y’all!
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