9781565842595 / 1565842596

Should We Burn Babar?: Essays on Children's Literature and the Power of Stories


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Publisher:The New Press, 1996



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About the book:

In provocative and entertaining essays [that] will appeal to reflective readers, parents, and educators (Library Journal), one of the countrys foremost education writers looks at the stories we tell our children. Available now in a revised edition, including a new essay on the importance of stoop-sitting and storytelling, Should We Burn Babar? challenges some of the chestnuts of childrens literature. Highlighting instances of racism, sexism, and condescension that detract from the tales being told, Kohl provides strategies for detecting bias in stories written for young people and suggests ways to teach kids to think critically about what they read.

Beginning with the title essay on Babar the elephantjust one of a fine series of inquiries into the power childrens books have to shape cultural attitudes, according to Elliott Bay Booknotesthe book includes essays on Pinocchio, the history of progressive education, and a call for the writing of more radical childrens literature. As the Hungry Mind Review concluded, Kohls prescriptions for renewing our schools through the use of stories and storytelling are impassioned, well-reasoned, and readable.

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