People can be so hypocritical when it comes to their children…

Amazon and I took a trip down memory lane yesterday as I tried to buy the books I remember from my childhood. I recently purchased ‘The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler’ by Gene Kemp because it was on sale for a penny and on reading it, suddenly remembered why childrens’ literature is so incredible. My Mum bought me ‘Grump and the Hairy Mammoth’ and ‘Grump goes Galumphing’  last year, so I started looking to expand my collection with ‘Grump strikes back’… then, of course, I began to recall more and more books until I found myself face to face with ‘There was an old lady who swallowed a fly’

I loved this book – in fact, I think I loved it so much that all the pages fell out and it sort of disintegrated. Everyone I know who read this as a child adored it and yet, looking on amazon’s review page, I found this little gem:

I bought this book as I’d remembered it as a child. I was horrified to see that on every page it states that perhaps the old lady will die….until the last page when she does die!!

I didn’t really find this suitable material for my 2 year old. You can make your own mind up on this.

Surely, if this woman loved it as a child and wasn’t warped in any way by the death of the old woman, then her own baby is likely to feel the same. And what’s worse: letting your precious little bundle of joy grow up without a knowledge of death, only to be confronted by it later with no concept of what it is, or to read them a silly little rhyme in which kids learn the dangers of overeating? 😛

A similar comment marred the star rating of ‘Goodbye Mog’.

Almost every story contains a peculiar dream sequence, which is not only hard for a small child to understand, but ocassionally a little disturbing, like when the little girl dreams that a tiger wants to eat her or the story in which Mog falls asleep and never wakes up. The Mum/Dad relationship is incredibly old fashioned with Dad reading the newspaper, watching the boxing, shouting at the cat and generally being all but the father we would like to see presented to our children.

What, really? Do you honestly think the natural process of dreaming is hard to understand? Good heavens, lady! Your politically correct developing-person must live entirely wrapped up in super-soft organic cotton wool for it to be disturbed by a dream sequence in fiction. And I’m sorry, but if Daddy works all day then he’s absolutely entitled to come home and put his feet up for ten minutes to read the paper. A one-sided relationship where the man works, does the cleaning, cooking, and generally your feminazi bidding is not a healthy one to present your child with. Or would you prefer a father figure not to be featured at all? Personally, I’d rather see a full, functioning loving family – even if it is a little old fashioned – than a young ‘career-couple’ who bred to placate their own parents’ and now pay a childminder to raise their offspring for them.

Do people really have so little faith in their childrens’ imaginations that they worry their offspring can’t tell dream from reality, or be warped by the simple fact we will all die?