WHAT’S NEXT…Mr. Rogers?
Many of us grew up listening to and enjoying the books of Dr. Seuss. The books were rhyming and fun with colorful pictures. For many younger children, it was a time to listen to a mother or father’s voice reading to them words that they could not have read at such a young age. Our teachers in elementary schools read them to us. We laughed and giggled because they were fun.
I have a question. With all our political correctness and emotional responses to what is acceptable and what is not…are we going to take the fun out of childhood also?
What will be next…Mr. Rogers and the re-runs of his TV shows that most young children stayed glued to every day in his “neighborhood”? He let children know that there were good things in life and he shared those things, people and ideas with them.
Are we all going crazy as a nation? Yes, I know that is more than one question, but here is the reason why I write this into my blog.
More than one First Lady has spent their time going to schools to read the books by Dr. Seuss. Recently, in her efforts to enrich the lives of American children, a number of the Dr. Seuss books were sent to a public school in Cambridge, Massachusetts to celebrate National Read a Book Day by our First Lady. A collection of 10 was sent to one school in each state. Some of the titles were “The Cat in the Hat”; “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”; “Wacky Wednesday”; “Green Eggs and Ham”; and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
Liz Phipps Soeiro, a librarian at the Cambridge school, wrote this as part of her so-called thank you to the First Lady the following:
“I work in a district that has plenty of resources, which contributes directly to ‘excellence,’…My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science… Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes…”
Soeiro went on to name the books ( If I Ran a Zoo and And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street) that she particularly found offensive and called them “racist mockery” in the art in each book.
COME ON…IS THIS FOR REAL? Talk about divisiveness and lack of appreciation from one of our school educators…with a “graduate degree in library science” no less. Oh, but I must not omit that after all this rejection, Soeiro did say this, “I am honored that you recognized my students and our school. I can think of no better gift for children than books; it was a wonderful gesture, if one that could have been better thought out,”
Maybe Soeiro should read or listen to a Dr. Seuss book that I think is special, Horton Hears a Who. In this book, he says “every person counts no matter how small” and “every voice counts”. Doesn’t sound to me that he has “racist” or “harmful stereotypes” in mind. In fact, if you read about his life, even his political cartoons that he drew in earlier years were against historical evils. (see link below)
Because of the views of Liz Soeiro, will there be librarians, bookstores or online book companies quickly pulling down these two books because they are offensive to this person? Let’s hope the sales will go up and parents will curl up with a good Dr. Seuss book this very evening and read to their children. Perhaps we should all go out and find the nearest used bookstore and hoard them because publishers might get caught up in this lunacy.
Who actually was Theodore Seuss Geisel? (Dr. Seuss) His life was not easy…filled with much heartache, but this link tells it like it is. He was also given a special Pulitzer Prize for his contribution to children’s literature. The Life of Dr. Seuss (taken from Biography)
In my heading, I mentioned…What’s Next…Mr. Rogers?. Some of you may be too young to remember him. So here he is. A man who brought happiness each day to all children and to remind them that they are special. Let’s don’t take away their happiness.
FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE… I give you a Dr.Seuss book: HORTON HEARS A WHO.
This entry was posted on September 30, 2017 by Boyer Writes. It was filed under Boyer Writes, Children, Opinion and was tagged with authors and artists, Books by Dr. Seuss, Boyer Writes, Cambridge Mass, children's literature, Dr. Seuss, Liz Phipps Soeiro, Mr. Rogers, Pulitzer Prize winner.
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