Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Previewing Children's Books

Most of the books I read to my kids, I get from reading lists (e.g., Honey for a Child's Heart) and from friends' recommendations.  I order these books from the library online `and they are stacked up and ready to go when I arrive.  But I also like to peruse the children's bookshelves and my kids love picking up books that look interesting to them.  I do not often preview read-aloud books.  Maybe I should do this more.  

There is a Thanksgiving book we have read over the years and love called The Night Before Thanksgiving.  It is a cute story of a family Thanksgiving celebration.  I recommend it!

The other day I saw a book with a similar title, 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, and picked it up.  I read it to the kids today and half-way through realized it was total animal rights propaganda.  Children steal turkeys from a farmer in order to spare their lives.  (The farmer's name is Mack Nuggett.) At the end of the book, the children were "abounding in love." The children and their families feasted on "veggies with jelly and toast" and everyone was thankful (the turkeys were most)." In other words, it is okay to steal from a farmer who is trying to make a living but how dare you think you are better than a fowel and take the life of a bird for your sustenance! 

My kids took in every word of this book.  I continued reading it but, at the end, we had discussion Iabout the purposes of animals and whether eating animals is something that is wrong or allowed for in the bible and a part of God's plan.  We talked about whether animals are equal with humans or subservient and whether animals have a soul.  We also talked about people like Laura Ingalls who would have never survived a winter in the Big Woods if her pa had not killed animals for food.  

So, maybe I should preview books more.  But, I tend to err on the side of exposing my kids to stuff and then having conversations with them about what is Truth and what is a lie.  I would rather my kids grow up having lots of conversations with their mom about right and wrong, and knowing that their mom is not afraid to confront the lies the world offers, than my kids simply being sheltered.  

My two cents, for what is worth!  What are your thoughts?  


Diary of an Autodidact said...

Kudos on having the discussion rather than trying to avoid other points of view. Not that you could anyway - kids have a knack for asking uncomfortable questions. My second born has the gift. She must have been about 3 when she asked me if animals liked being eaten. She has had a philosophical fascination with life, death, God, and the food chain. She keeps me on my toes...

Rachelle said...

I agree that you need to ground kids in the truth before they start taking on alternative world views. I just think most parents err on the side of waiting too late to start the latter process, assuming their kids are "too young." Ben has studied world religions this year as part of his history study and we've actively engaged different views. I think you are on the right track. Being unwilling to discuss something indicates fear of it, and for those of us who follow the Lord, there is nothing we should fear. Our children should know that.

valfrid said...

I agree that you are actually children ends before I started it, see for another world. I think if most parents take level error on the side of excessive delay to start the process with their children, we use "too young". "Ben has studied religions in the world this year as part of its history, education and engagement in the us." different points of view. I think it will start
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