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I Do Not Like Them, Sam I Am

March 8, 2007

Recently, my two youngest children celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday by going to school dressed as their favorite book character (from any author) and listening to Dr. Seuss all day. My daughter was Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie. My son chose to dress up as Sam I Am from Green Eggs and Ham.

This brought to mind a recent conversation with one of my sisters. I told her about my children’s rules for spending money at the book fair–no Disney Princess books, no Nemo or Cars books, no toys, no junk. My husband actually took my daughter to the book fair so she did not shop on her own, but she did come home with a My Little Pony book (in other words, junk).

My sister stated that it really didn’t matter what the kids read, as long as they were reading. On the surface, this sounds good. In actuality, however, this rings false. Children learn the art of telling and writing stories from hearing and reading stories. They learn syntax, rules of the genre, and creativity from the books they read. In reality, we don’t live in a Disney Princess world, and while it might be okay to watch a movie or read an occasional story about a Disney Princess, I would rather have them spend their time on worthwhile literature–biographies on people who have impacted the world for better or worse, stories that promote creativity, perseverance or problem-solving, not fluff written without a story in mind because the book is all about a movie.

Here are thoughts from others on the matter:

The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.
Mark Twain

Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand upon those who wrote them.
Charles Caleb Colton

It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Let me know what you think.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. EmmyJMommy permalink
    March 9, 2007 7:37 pm

    Hey Brittany,

    You bring up a great point about how much freedom do we give our children. I think you are spot on when saying that we should be careful about what our children read. I have to admit, we do let Emily Grace read Disney Princess books and Strawberry Shortcake books, but for every one of those books that we read, we read at least one story in “The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes” — in which we do discuss the questions at the end of each story with her while Harris just sits and listens.

    The subject of restricting what our children reads brings a thought — do we restrict the friends that our children have? Do we restrict the time away from home and the people that time is spent with…I may have the think about posting about this on my blog….hmmmm?!

  2. Bamadawg1980 permalink
    March 13, 2007 7:38 pm

    Emily, you bring up some good points. I do think that in the younger years, we restrict who they spend their time with and what they spend their time doing. They have not gained wisdom as of yet.

    The goal, I think, is to get them to a point where they understand godly principles for living and can apply them in any situation. Thus, as they grow and mature, gaining wisdom (hopefully) and demonstrating responsibility, they gain more freedom.

    By the way, we also have several Disney books. I am not condemning all Disney books. I just would like to steer them in a better direction (or at least not increase the time we spend on these books). 🙂

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. tara r permalink
    March 15, 2007 9:58 am

    I think you are my new hero:
    a THINKING mom.

    I look forward to the possibility of being a part of your family’s life and learning from you guys.

  4. Jonathan permalink
    March 16, 2007 2:48 pm

    Sorry for letting the child buy ‘junk.’ You’re my hero too. How do you come up with such good quotes?

  5. Ben permalink
    March 19, 2007 8:58 am

    my wife has a crush on your family

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