Friday, September 29, 2017

The Lessons of Dr Seuss

There is a librarian in the news right now for rejecting a set of Dr Seuss books that the Squatter in the White House's wife donated to her school. And clearly, she is making her move to be a celebrity and perhaps get a "Mover and Shaker" award from ALA.  But for the most part, she is an idiot who represents the worst in current librarianship.

I'm with her in that her district doesn't need what probably amounts to about $100 more worth of Dr Seuss books in comparison to many other, far more impoverished districts. And she could have just kept her mouth shut and donated the books accordingly.  But that's not what is truly frosting this MLS carrying twit. It's the political correctness of  it all.

Now first of all, she is talking about the wife of the man who has brought open bigotry back into fashion, who thinks there are "good people" among torch carrying neo-Nazis.  So expecting political correctness in her choice of books is, to say the least, hilarious.

But her view, that Dr Seuss is a perfect example of the Squatter's base's sort of viewpoint, is utter bullshit.

Yes, there are lots of  what would now be politically incorrect stuff in Seuss's early works. But he was a product of his times. It was 1930s America. And it wasn't for kids. It was advertising, and military training films, and other things not aimed at kids.

His kids work is NOT like that at all. Instead, it is filled with lessons like "A person's a person, no matter how small," in "Horton Hears A Who."  It's got ecological messages, like in the "Lorax."

And take a look at "The Sneetches."  It's as anti-discrimination as you can get. That's the whole point of the story:

As for those lovely alternative books that she suggested?
They're the sort that sit on the shelf here in my library full of privileged white families.
They never go anywhere.

Meanwhile, the Seuss books continue to fly off the shelves....................

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Four Words: "Can You Help Me?"

No clean up song, especially not the one by the Purple Dinosaur Who Shall Not Be Named.
No fuss. No tears.

Just four words: "Can you help me?"

"Can you help me put the scarves in the bag?"  "Can you help me pick up the blocks?"

I routinely do programs for 1 year olds where when it's time to put the scarves away, or the bells, or the shakers, I use those 4 little words, and the stuff goes back in the bag or the container in LESS THAN TWO OR THREE MINUTES.

No fuss. No tears. They LIKE helping! 

I always have 2 or 3 kids who really get into it and gather up lots of scarves. But they all help, and I thank them by name: "Good job, Amelia!"  "Thanks for helping, Max!"  "Good job, Lily!"

And if I DO get a fusser, I tell mom or nanny that it's fine for them to hold onto the item for a few more minutes. Usually they'll give it back as we move into another activity. At worst, I get it back at the end of the session.

Try this. It works.
And in doing so, you are not just teaching the kids something. Hopefully, the lesson crosses over to the adults......

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...