Thursday, April 02, 2009
Al has ham. Al is a fat cat. As is a sad fat cat.
Thanks to blog reader Joan M. for sending me the following:
I have a 5 year old and I am teaching her to read. I have a program made by a company called Frontline Phonics. They have a book called "Ham and Jam": Al is a cat (happy smiling cat), Al has ham (happy cat eating), Al has jam (happy cat eating), Al has ham and jam, Al is a fat cat (cat now has distended belly and is frowning), Al is a sad fat cat, Al ran. Al ran and ran. (cat on the treadmill) Al is a cat. (happy thin cat again)
And the questions that the parents are suppossed to ask after they have read the book are: What made Al so fat? What did Al eat first? What did Al do to become thin again? Why is Al smiling?
Talk about teaching kids while they are young to associate fat and sadness and thin with being happy.
Let's tell the story another way:
Harriet is a blogger. Harriet reads about books like this. Harriet feels sad. Harriet feels mad! Harriet's head feels like it might explode. Harriet swears at the screen. Bad screen. Bad books. Bad thinking.
Any of you come across similarly egregious books aimed at early readers? Inquiring minds want to know.