By: Hayden Navarro
What are children’s books REALLY teaching our youth? Are they delivering helpful messages about growing up, or glorifying bad behavior? In this article, we relive our childhoods through a different lens: how do the books we know and love compared to what we read in high school? Witness the horror of three children’s stories retold.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar: The Very Unrealistic Expectations
This story not only fails to provide relief from the constant boredom of your life, but also promotes binge eating and childhood obesity. The caterpillar eats until it becomes sick, and then continues to gain weight until it is almost too fat to fit on the page. Its description of the process of puberty is misleading: you eat as much as you can, get fat, take a long nap, and then become a beautifully skinny adult. A majority of the pages show what the caterpillar eats while never being content. It is always hungry, and most likely would die in reality from starvation. Unrealistic.
Goodnight Moon: More Like Goodnight My Will To Live
There could be a deeper meaning hidden within the mix of coloring-book-like pages: acceptance of the inevitability of death. As the reader continues through the pages, they say goodnight to a multitude of objects and animals on their way to sleep. This could symbolize leaving possessions and loved ones behind as we make our journey to sleep forevermore. In this aspect, the author created a dark story that teaches a valuable lesson to children: we all will die, so treat everything nicely while you have it.
No, David!: The Tale of A Future Domestic Abuser
David’s mother should be afraid of her future. David exhibits several signs of becoming a juvenile delinquent, and possibly even a domestic abuser. He can be seen many times destroying property, ignoring his mother’s requests, and messing with his mother’s state of mind. At the end of the story, he tells his mother he loves her, but is he really sorry for his actions? All signs point to more torture to come. There is a sequel, David Goes to School, which also shows behavior that could lead to expulsion. Unless David’s mother gets a firm grasp on her son’s actions, she might not make it to sixty years old before having a mental breakdown.