I love to read to the girls I baby-sit (Cooper is to little to really listen to books yet, he just tries to eat them). Sometimes, reading the stories as an adult I realize that there is some sort of misbehavior going on that isn’t dealt with. I don’t think that sets a very good example for them, so I make some very-ungraceful alterations. A few examples I have come across are:
- My Brown Bear Barney by Dorothy Butler – This book was mine when I was a little girl, and when I started reading it to the girls, I noticed an act of out-right defiance to her mother, very visible in the illustrations, so I couldn’t just skip over it. I thought that that was unacceptable, so instead of reading “we’ll see about that” I said “and she got a spanking when she got home because she disobeyed her mommy, and that is never okay”. Yeah, I am not an author okay. I mean I write a blog and that is it.
- Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary – I like to read the girls chapter books. It seems to improve children’s attention spans, plus gets them used to books with no pictures long before it is time for them to be reading them. So since this is a chapter book, pre-schoolers are not the intended audience, so the behavior of 5 year old Ramona is not really an example to the kids that generally read this. I LOVE the Ramona books! But still, in the first chapter or two of this book, Ramona talks about making a big, noisy fuss to get her way. Since I started reading this before I realized that she was suggesting throwing a fit to get her way, she got a spanking and didn’t get her way after all.
- Pee Wee Scouts – Rosy Noses, Freezing Toes by Judy Delton – I had never read this book before, and frankly it isn’t that great. It is full of snotty, rude, and unkind behavior, and we won’t be reading it again next year. Some conversations I just skipped over, but at the end, one of the kids runs away from home and refuses to go back unless his mother signs a paper saying that he doesn’t have to practice the violin anymore. Instead of going and talking to him and discussing the issue, the mother laughs and signs the paper, not dealing with the issue of running away at all. So at the end of the book I switched things around so that he got sent to his room instead of going to the party.
I am a little weird about it I guess, I just don’t want to give them examples of inappropriate behavior. Children come up with ways to misbehave on their own, they don’t need any assistance!
I really love the Little House books, because when Laura or another child misbehaves they have a discussion and discipline is utilized as the parents see fit. I don’t ever have to “censor” them, which is awesome!
Have you ran into any books you wanted (or did) change around a little bit?