Last night, as I was forced to read a Disney Princess book for the 8,353rd time, I decided Hannah needed some library expansion. And not just any library expansion, one that was carefully selected to guide her mind away from the crap she receives out in the big wide world. Especially as she is becoming much more aware of the world around her including race and gender… and also the division of people into the “goodie” and “baddie” categories. I’ve blogged before about my delight at the book, Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell, so I set out to get more conscious about what the kiddo reads/gets read.
After being subjected to blather about Princesses marrying their charming Princes and their lives being fulfilled instantly, I knew for sure that I wanted to track down “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch. Because sometimes, Princes are douches. Nothing like a little bit of early feminism.
Once I’d tracked down that book, I started googling “anarchist children’s books” and coming up with a whole lot of ideas. This thread was ever helpful and pointed me in the direction of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax”.
I’d like to get my hands on many more Dr. Seuss books because of all the awesome messages in them… but this handles the environmental side of things quite nicely for now.
“The Story of Colors” by Subcomandante Marcos also seemed like a good choice, not only because it has awesome reviews for the story, but because of the politics surrounding the funding of the book and the Zapatista’s struggle for autonomy in Chiapas, Mexico. Queue boring my child to death with political discussions. Actually, I shouldn’t really dismiss her understanding of the politics of conflict. As a four year old present at a discussion about the situation in Burma, where a Green Party MP was detailing the UN process and sending half the audience to sleep, she turned toward me and asked “Why doesn’t New Zealand just tell them to stop killing people?” Wish she’d said it loud enough for the Green MP to hear. And if only our politicians had the courage, my child.
And finally, for now, Click Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin. Julie recommended this one and I don’t know much about it… safe to say that the undertones are of worker’s rights and anti-capitalism. I’ll be sure to rave a bit on here if it’s any good.
I’m also on a mission to track down Pippi Longstocking books. Although I may be temporarily shooting myself in the foot by regailing tales of an assertive, young, red-headed girl who questions adults’ authority, I think it’ll work out well in the long run. Right? Eeeeek.