“For Every Child A Better World” — that’s the name of a book a Wisconsin mom is trying to have banned from her future kindergartener’s library. That’s right, her son isn’t even in school yet. But she’s a school board member, and damn if she’s going to let her future kindergartener learn about how to make the world a better place.
The description of the book on Amazon reads, “The familiar character of Kermit the Frog teaches young readers about the plight of young children who lack the basic human necessities and the efforts of the United Nations to provide such essentials as housing, water, food, and medical aid.” Oh, yes. I see her concern now. We must shield our entitled, fed kids from knowing there’s a whole world out there that has less than we do for as long as possible: god forbid it makes them sad. That other people are suffering. That might teach them empathy! We can’t have that.
“It is a Muppet book but it depicts you know some pretty serious issues – war, poverty, hunger, disease, and the images are very disconcerting,” Mary Carney told WKYT. She thinks the images in the book are “graphic” and “instill fear.” She wants the district to choose another book that will teach social responsibility in a better way.
Here’s an idea: if you have a problem with your children viewing “graphic” Muppet images (can’t believe I just wrote those words), how about you don’t let them read it? Banning books because you personally have a problem with the content is utterly absurd, when the content is meant to teach children about humanitarian efforts to build a better world. Carney claims there are several reviews that say the book is “traumatizing” for young children. I could only find one — it was written by a 28-year-old. But I did find several glowing reviews of it:
“The illustrations, which rely upon Muppet characters familiar to most children from shows such as Sesame Street, ably and accurately depict the full implications of the straightforward, uncomplicated text without ever becoming too emotionally difficult or overwhelming for preschoolers.”
“My undergraduate degree was International Studies, and I know of no other children’s book that teaches relevant concepts with such simplicity and sensitivity – in a way that any age can begin to appreciate.”
“I’ve never seen a book impact students’ thinking of the world in the way that this book does. Could great reviews like the ones published on your site possibly encourage the initial publisher to re-print this book once again?”
“What a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about others who are less fortunate. Our copy will be a forever treasure indeed.”
“We love this book and my daughter frequently requests it. I believe that it has made her more sensitive to other people when developmentally, 3 yr olds are very self-centered. I am constantly looking for this book to give as a gift.”
Sounds fantastic. Too bad it’s out of print. And it’s really too bad that one parent’s crusade may take this rare gem off the shelves of her local library.