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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:48 pm 
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As a second grade teacher, I rarely, if ever, censor books that I read aloud. That being said, I chose books carefully, and books with controversial words/content are only chosen if they are of high quality and appropriate due to context. Maybe sometimes on purpose to cause a stir and discussion. Usually this type of thing comes up in social studies or other books with historical context.

Really annoying stereotypes and undesirable behavior is everywhere in books for young children. I find that it is important to share my thinking (and have a safe place for the students to share their thinking) about the book and the author's choices whenever this comes up and to allow a discussion about the issues with the kids. Second graders are able to consider different points of view and to question books when given the opportunity and language for noticing injustices, etc, in books. I think that questioning books is an important part of literacy. Of course, the developmental stage of child must match the content of the book. Much younger children are not ready for such discussions.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:27 pm 
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Oh man, my parents never could have gotten away with that. I learned to read too early!

I had a first grade teacher who would read to us and sometimes changed the words in books. He was awesome, though...he knew I knew what he was up to. I remember he took me aside one day and asked me if it bothered me when he did it, and he said he would try not to do it so much if it bothered me. I think I actually told him it was fine -- I kind of liked that Mr. Appelbaum and I had a little secret that only I knew about because I was the only little nerd in the room who would actually go read the books on my own. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:59 pm 
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Aubade wrote:
mittenmacher wrote:
I haven't run into this problem yet, but I totally sing "This little piggy wants tofu, this little piggy wants none!"

Haha funny, I say this little piggy wants roasted veggies.

I say 'roast beets'! We're all so clever.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:17 am 
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choirqueer wrote:
Oh man, my parents never could have gotten away with that. I learned to read too early!


Shae was reading at 4. If he ever questioned me, I'd just tell him that I didn't think it was a nice word, so I chose a better one. He does the same thing now with books he reads to his little brother.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:49 am 
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poopiebitch wrote:
Aubade wrote:
mittenmacher wrote:
I haven't run into this problem yet, but I totally sing "This little piggy wants tofu, this little piggy wants none!"

Haha funny, I say this little piggy wants roasted veggies.

I say 'roast beets'! We're all so clever.


i use smolve pie, taco bell, cookies n' cake, and tofu reuben interchangeably.

other than that, i don't censor most things. i try to find age appropriate media for the kids, and if there's a controversial word, i still say it. blasto is inquisitive and we'll have a discussion about it. Something must be working, because the kid's BS detector is kicking in big time. he asks Mr. J why he eats meat, and eggs and does he know that they are dead things. he knows that hate is a strong word, and he seems to understand empathy--just a little bit. i've even changed the way we pray. i used to do the regular ha motzi with every meal, but more times than not we now have a discussion about how the food got to our plate, thank The Force, or say "Hey God who may or may not exist, biology sure is awesome!"

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:42 pm 
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^^ i love this, Jewy. We've also changed our faith approach to stuff, in respect for the kid's beliefs (or lack thereof) and ours resembles your quite a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:07 pm 
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mittenmacher wrote:
I haven't run into this problem yet, but I totally sing "This little piggy wants tofu, this little piggy wants none!"


i say tofu too :D


dragonssister wrote:
I probably read a lot of horrific things when I was little and as I got older. I remember reading VC Andrews whole series Flowers in the Attic when I was like 11. I know you are talking about much younger children. I just remember completely skipping over the tween books and going straight to adult novels. My parents never really cared about it. I think I will be a lot more watchful over my children.


hey i was about 11 too! horrifying stuff that VC Andrews (and she's so amazing, still writing even though she's dead!;) Let's not forget Forever by Judy Blume as well - I was def too young for that.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:22 pm 
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❀madam dahlia❀ wrote:
kids books are a minefield! for parents who are pagan vegans, there are all sorts of things to avoid, as well as all the negative crepe that is written in kids books. you should see me at the local library pre-reading all books before we borrow making sure there are no santa clauses or meat-eating binges or horrible weird behaviours being celebrated. the latest crepe one we have received is "the black dog" by pamela allen...who usually does great childrens stories...but this one is about a girl and a dog and the girl becomes obsessed with this imaginary bird and neglects the dog, so the dog goes out and jumps out of the top of a tree and almost kills himself to get her attention. story ends with the girl realising how much she loves the dog. it was a gift, but i'm thinking of chucking it out. what kind of lesson is that? if someone doesnt love you, throw yourself out of a tree and they'll realise how much they love you because you're dying?

so short answer, yes, i censor a fair bit. but my son is only 2...

Woah that book sounds forked! It's such a shame because it was a missed opportunity to teach children you shouldn't neglect pets when a cool new thing comes along because they have feelings too. Instead it seems to say 'feeling left out? almost kill yourself for attention and people will realise how much they care!' Also a black dog is a classic symbol of depression. I was reading about this book online and a parent on a discussion forum even thought it was saying to "forget about (elusive) happiness and embrace the (loyal) depression." So goodness knows what the kids make of it!

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:07 pm 
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My mum used to do this when she was reading to me when I was a little kid. There was this one book with a feud between a crocodile and some other creature, like a racoon? The racoon defeats the wily crocodiles efforts to eat him and then at the end burns the crocodile's house down so he runs away, never to be seen again. Or at least that's the version she told me. When I was older she admitted the crocodile totally got burned alive at the end and she didn't think that was appropriate! Also she edited both the book and our taped from tv film of Tarka the Otter by cutting the end, so it ends with him dreaming peacefully in his holt, rather than being torn apart by otter hounds. I think that was a good call because I really enjoyed the interesting, moving tale of an otter's life as a kid and it fueled my interest in nature but I would have been totally traumatised by the ending. When I was old enough she explained it to me and it fueled my opposition to hunting. So both versions of the story were important to me at different stages in my life.

I think I'll just skip books I don't think are appropriate when I have kids though.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:21 pm 
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Oh! I used to censor The Hobyas. It was way too violent.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:47 pm 
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appifanie wrote:
dragonssister wrote:
I probably read a lot of horrific things when I was little and as I got older. I remember reading VC Andrews whole series Flowers in the Attic when I was like 11. I know you are talking about much younger children. I just remember completely skipping over the tween books and going straight to adult novels. My parents never really cared about it. I think I will be a lot more watchful over my children.


hey i was about 11 too! horrifying stuff that VC Andrews (and she's so amazing, still writing even though she's dead!;) Let's not forget Forever by Judy Blume as well - I was def too young for that.


I was obsessed with Stephen King in middle school. I read VC Andrews then too. Cannot believe I was Shae's age when I read all that! He's into mostly nonfiction, historical stuff right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:43 pm 
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I never censored books, but we always discussed them afterwards. As another vegan, Pagan parent, it is definitely a minefield, but I don't believe in sheltering my kid from kids' books. I feel like I honored my child's intelligence by simply having a thoughtful discussion about the book afterward. And when I say that, I am NOT saying that parents who choose otherwise are not honoring their child's intelligence--that was just my personal choice. If a book was just too out there, I skipped it. Having discussions about what was in the books we read, whether negative or positive, helped develop critical thinking skills, and allowed him to see various points of view, as well as to develop awareness about how words affect people, etc. I really feel it helped him deepen his sense of empathy.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:56 pm 
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Is there a thread somewhere on what kids' books all you expert vegan parents actually like, minimal bowdlerization necessary? I've found a few good ones, but would love to find more options. I've been reading "The Frailty Myth" chapter about how we acculturate girls to not use their bodies as much physically and that's reminded me how much I need to resist a lot of crappy social conditioning (whether I have a boy or girl). Not to mention animal exploitation, bigotry and stereotypes, etc..


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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:31 pm 
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purple.sarah wrote:
Also a black dog is a classic symbol of depression. I was reading about this book online and a parent on a discussion forum even thought it was saying to "forget about (elusive) happiness and embrace the (loyal) depression." So goodness knows what the kids make of it!


ACK! geez. i didn't realise it could be interpreted negatively in 2 different ways! sounds like i should compost the book huh?


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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:24 pm 
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Oh! I thought of one I censor finally.

Grey loves Dr. Seuss's One Fish Two Fish etc. There's a page about how awesome it is to brush your let's hair and it has a line, "all girls who like to brush and comb/should have a pet like this at home." I don't know why but it really rubs me the wrong way, so I always read it as all kids instead.

I guess you don't lose any of the meaning of the passage by reading it that way, so I'm okay with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:58 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
Oh! I thought of one I censor finally.

Grey loves Dr. Seuss's One Fish Two Fish etc. There's a page about how awesome it is to brush your let's hair and it has a line, "all girls who like to brush and comb/should have a pet like this at home." I don't know why but it really rubs me the wrong way, so I always read it as all kids instead.

I guess you don't lose any of the meaning of the passage by reading it that way, so I'm okay with it.

I haven't read that book to them in awhile, but I do that, too!

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:20 pm 
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I should probably clarify that I totally support changing the words in books, especially when you talk to your kids about why you're changing them. I just wouldn't have felt that way when I was three!

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:49 am 
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keen_on_quinoa wrote:
coldandsleepy wrote:
Oh! I thought of one I censor finally.

Grey loves Dr. Seuss's One Fish Two Fish etc. There's a page about how awesome it is to brush your let's hair and it has a line, "all girls who like to brush and comb/should have a pet like this at home." I don't know why but it really rubs me the wrong way, so I always read it as all kids instead.

I guess you don't lose any of the meaning of the passage by reading it that way, so I'm okay with it.

I haven't read that book to them in awhile, but I do that, too!


Ditto. Of course it rubs you the wrong way....only girls can be nurturers? Pah. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:52 pm 
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keen_on_quinoa wrote:
coldandsleepy wrote:
Oh! I thought of one I censor finally.

Grey loves Dr. Seuss's One Fish Two Fish etc. There's a page about how awesome it is to brush your let's hair and it has a line, "all girls who like to brush and comb/should have a pet like this at home." I don't know why but it really rubs me the wrong way, so I always read it as all kids instead.

I guess you don't lose any of the meaning of the passage by reading it that way, so I'm okay with it.

I haven't read that book to them in awhile, but I do that, too!


i've changed that one as well! i change words and skip pages right now. we don't discuss it but my son is 2. i figure it's pretty temporary practice. i have no intention of censoring his reading much if at all once he can read stuff himself.

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 11:55 am 
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i have been struggling with this over Curious George- the original, where he is captured, almost drowns, goes to prison, and finally ends up happy in a zoo. my son LOVES it. I never wanted to censor yet, i see it as filled with colonialist preconceptions, but i also see how it has great rythm, flow and is very appealing, i am attempting to bore my child with my detailed commentary on postcolonial and reconceptualist perspectives on the role of the man in the yellow hat in george's life. did i mention my son is 22 months?


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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 12:11 pm 
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jildez wrote:
i have been struggling with this over Curious George- the original, where he is captured, almost drowns, goes to prison, and finally ends up happy in a zoo. my son LOVES it. I never wanted to censor yet, i see it as filled with colonialist preconceptions, but i also see how it has great rythm, flow and is very appealing, i am attempting to bore my child with my detailed commentary on postcolonial and reconceptualist perspectives on the role of the man in the yellow hat in george's life. did i mention my son is 22 months?

You sound like the best parent ever!

I can't wait to here tales of your son trying to decolonize preschool games!

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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 3:06 pm 
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jildez wrote:
i have been struggling with this over Curious George- the original, where he is captured, almost drowns, goes to prison, and finally ends up happy in a zoo. my son LOVES it. I never wanted to censor yet, i see it as filled with colonialist preconceptions, but i also see how it has great rythm, flow and is very appealing, i am attempting to bore my child with my detailed commentary on postcolonial and reconceptualist perspectives on the role of the man in the yellow hat in george's life. did i mention my son is 22 months?


YES. I was supposed to read that book to kindergarteners at school, but I swapped it out for a different Curious George that didn't have the whole capturing part...


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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 2:36 pm 
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thanks for understanding. The little man totally could care less. READ MOMMY! is what he says when i start telling him that its not fair for the man in the yellow hat to assume that George will be better of in Paris then the jungle.


Also, i live in fear of my son being a jock- how am i instill a sense of equity for all if he's on a team where winning is the goal (i never played sports). I love teaching, and i believe completely in public education and allow my son to experience the world completely, yet, there are moments i want to home school and control his experiences so badly.


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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:55 am 
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Watched this and thought of this thread.



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 Post subject: Re: Do you censor books as you read them to your young kids?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:45 am 
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OMG that made me laugh so hard! 'A monkey has bested 7 adult men, this should give you a dim view of human potential.'

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