Monday, February 2, 2015

Babar - I am so disappointed



Thank you to Edwina's Episodes for asking me to take part in the February 2nd tour. Check out her post for other blogs on today's tour.

Babar - I am so disappointed

Besides being a retired teacher, I am also a retired Lactation Consultant/La Leche League Leader, and a retired Computer Programmer. It fits well with my Trinitarian nature that I have had three careers.

It is the former that I come to now.

I was reading Babar to my three honourary grand-daughters on Tuesday. The girls and I had quickly decided not to read the one where Babar's mother dies because it is too sad (plus another character eats a poisoned mushroom and dies), so instead we chose the happier one about Babar and his wife Celeste where she gives birth to triplets.

Seemed innocent enough, right?

The doctor quickly pronounces that she does not have enough milk to feed them and puts the baby elephants on formula!

Ack, my blood pressure went up, and I had to stop the story to give the little girls a sidebar about how I was certain cow's milk was not the best idea for a baby elephant!

Teachable moment, indeed!

Fortunately my faith in media was restored later in the week when the cantankerous old nun on "Call the Midwife" pronounced loudly that 'Breast is Best!'.

(Of course in another episode the producers made a terrible crafting faux pas by featuring a knitted blanket as pivotal to the story line and it was clearly a crocheted blanket, but I digress!)

Friends still refer new mothers to me for breastfeeding help and advice. I like that mother-to-mother support is still valued in my community of women. It helps us stay connected in a primal and necessary way.

I wish Celeste, the elephant had been given that kind of support. I realize the book was written in the 1930s (and also realize that the Babar series has many other more serious 'PC' errors), but still I think the elephants could have worked it out without the doctor's not-so-helpful proscription.

Do you find yourself reading books from your childhood that now make your toes curl? I would love to hear about them so leave a comment.

I love the idea of a Tour through Blogland. I do it every morning touring the blogs I follow.

If you, dear Reader, want to take my tour through blogland today I suggest you start with these blogs:

Diary of a Killjoy (full disclosure - this is my daughter)
Msathlete
Life with Roozle
Wendy of the Rock


If any bloggers I follow want to play along I give you the date of February 14! Valentine's Day!



11 comments:

  1. Curious George is the worst... it is ethically sketchy and unpleasant mostly... and most of the curious george books are pretty questionable... it's like he does something usually really destructive but then somehow helps clean it up and then is hailed a hero... no permanent damage or consequences for being a total pain in the ass all the time...
    there are so many new great books for kids but certain titles are clung to by adults for nostalgic reasons when the books really don't hold up over time as being any good at all...

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    1. Yes, like the Noddy books - all that spanking.....eeks!

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  3. I was brought up on Enid Blyton books. They seem so dated now, as kids are not to innocent as they were back then. Nobody wants to eat potted meat sandwiches and drink ginger beer.People would be cross if you called them 'fatty' as well!.
    I really enjoyed reading about your previous careers as well. What an interesting life you have.

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    1. I still love Enid Blyton books, and Babar, despite being dated. We have come so far in that way we look at the world and how we treat each other which is wonderful - and hey, I love those teachable moments (not sure if the grand-daughters agree) ;)

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  4. Well, thank you, Mary-Anne, for your kindness. Much appreciated. My friend over at The Vinyl Edition was telling me that on CHristmas eve she was reading from The House at Pooh Corner to her kids aged 7 & 8, and they were so excited that the giggling fits every time she used the name Pooh led her to change it to Jeff... too cute... And hey, what's not to love about The Magic Faraway Tree??

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  5. My mom died just after my 11th birthday - 50 plus years ago. One of my few clear memories is hearing her voice reading Alice in Wonderland to me. I must have been 5 or 6 because after than I was reading my own books. I remember being quite confused because I took things so literally, as small children do. Then as a young adult the book was taken up by the drug culture and "White Rabbit" became my favourite rock song, mainly because it tied back to my Mom. Now the hookah smoking caterpillar and eating mushrooms that change you have taken on new meaning but it's still a beautiful book. I suppose it's full of non-politically correct references but I can't see them since it's still my mother's voice that I hear.

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    1. I have a similar connection to the book Little Women and my aunt - we used to read it together in bed. And Jo's Boys - I always thought of my aunt as Jo.

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  6. This made me think of the movie Fletch...when he identified himself as Mr Babar. I hadn't thought of Babar in years.

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    1. I like the books because the text is in cursive handwriting...and I like the illustrations

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