Friday, December 12, 2008

They Missed the Mark

I love reading with my daughter and I think she really likes it, too. She's a very touchy-feely baby, so books with paper pages are kind of dangerous for her right now. She's already gotten one paper cut, so I'm sticking to board books for the time being.

There are series of books called "Baby Touch and Feel" in which each page contains a different texture for baby to feel. They're usually about animals and you touch the animal's "fur." My/her favorite is called "Frosty Friends." Not only does it have awesome pictures of animals, but it also has information about each animal, plus it rhymes, so it makes it that much more fun to read aloud.

Here's an example from the book:

Fluffy little penguin chicks
huddle close together.
Mommy's fur protects them
from the cold and icy weather.


The polar bear is king
of this cold and snowy land.
No other creature on the ice
is quite as strong and grand.

Both of those are good, yes? They're factually correct and they're cute! However, the authors really missed the mark on some of the animals:

Can you feel the wolf's pink tongue?
Forget about your fears.
He's just a big and hairy dog
with furry, pointed ears.

Uh, yeah...wolves are real friendly! Nevermind that if you tried to touch a wolf's tongue he'd probably tear you to shreads.

This one's a little less ironic, but still:

With big and furry antlers,
this reindeer is so sweet...

When I think of reindeer, the word "sweet" doesn't come to mind. Hell, even fictionalized, reindeer are mean with not letting Rudolph join in their games and all!

There are others, like calling a seal gorgeous and friendly, that make me laugh and wonder how difficult it is to write these things without freaking kids out. I'll have to try my hand at trying to make tigers sound cute and fun or making sharks sound like great swimming partners.

Any requests or suggestions?

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