bad

Tikki Tikki Tembo

September 5, 2018
Subheader: 

Tikki Tikki? No. No.

If the mother were punished for her callous treatment of her children, especially the youngest, then maybe her behavior would act as an anti-example. But as it is, with no repentance or personal consequences (only her eldest son suffers for it), I don't want this read to my kids. I don't want her behavior modeled for them. I don't want them to worry I'll ignore them if they fall down a well, or treat them differently based on their age alone. And I don't want them to feel that either of them is worthless. Not even in a relative sense.

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Message: 

Chinese people are exactly like Japanese people, except with stupid (nonexistent) traditions. Also, among siblings, only the oldest son is important and everybody else is basically disposable.

Rumpelstiltskin

August 21, 2018
Subheader: 

I wish this fairy tale would never be heard from again.

How she planned on keeping up this charade isn't discussed. Sure, the king happens to stop at three rooms full of gold for unknown reasons, but what if he had continued? What horrible things would the miller's daughter be forced to trade away?

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Message: 

Life sucks unless you're the one in charge (especially if you're a woman). Good luck, you'll need it to escape the capricious whims of the powerful.

The Story of Little Black Sambo

July 9, 2018
Subheader: 

Because there are so many tigers on the old plantations.

This book is only bad because of Helen Bannerman's original racist drawings and the names of the characters. The characters don't act in a particularly stereotypical way, and the message of the book isn't inherently bad. Clearly the story is set in India, and I don't know why Bannerman decided to draw the characters as awful stereotypes from the American South.

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Message: 

Black people have certain exaggerated features.

The Hole Book

June 21, 2018
Subheader: 

Gun safety? What gun safety?

The more I think about this book and the more I learn about it, the worse it gets. On the other hand, I could see an updated version of this book becoming mildly popular. Maybe someone bounces a bouncy ball and it keeps going? It doesn't need to be a gun.

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Message: 

Don't worry about guns; they won't hurt you.

The Ugly Duckling

May 26, 2018
Subheader: 

I don't think most people know what the story really says.

Who gets to decide what's beautiful? Because I would imagine that swans find cygnets beautiful. It's just that he's in the wrong company for his beauty to be recognized. Why do humans even think swans are pretty, and why does the ugly duckling give a fig whether humans think he's pretty?

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Message: 

Being pretty is more important than anything else in the world.

Jim's Lion

May 4, 2018
Subheader: 

When you wish upon a black person...

It's never stated where in "Africa" the woman is from. The only thing you ever learn about her is that she's a nurse (which is, don't get me wrong, a respectable profession). But she's basically the "Magical Negro" (TV Tropes). She's the vaguely different character who is more in touch with nature that helps the white person by giving him "deep spiritual wisdom" (TV Tropes). It's not okay to treat other cultures that way.

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Message: 

Black people have magic powers and will help you get through illnesses. Or, operations are scary and dangerous.

Tadpole's Promise

May 6, 2018
Subheader: 

Hm, I just grew legs. Whatevs.

Maybe it's like it's supposed to be a tragic love story that's got kind of a hint of poetic irony underneath it? This book upsets me. I do not like this book.

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Message: 

Lovers are doomed to eat each other. Or, you will destroy everything you love.

The Berenstain Bears: Blessed are the Peacemakers

April 26, 2018
Subheader: 

Contrived story, contrived ending, poor writing.

The best part: When Brother Bear and Sister Bear are breaking up the fight between the Nerds and the Troublemakers, Cousin Fred (a Nerd) gets involved. "'Let's remember what it says in the Bible,' said Cousin Fred who liked to memorize things. '"Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness."' 'Huh?' Said Too-Tall. 'What's that supposed to mean?' 'It means that if you make peace,' explained Ferdy, 'You will get a rich reward.' 'Oh, cool,' said Too-Tall." People don't talk like that. It's just awkward and bizarre.

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Message: 

Don't fight because the Bible says not to.

Nerdy Birdy Tweets

April 12, 2018
Subheader: 

Inaccurate, technophobic message only conveyed through sexism ex machina.

I'm getting tired of this message. "Social media is bad. Social media is taking over the world. We are neglecting our real friends in favor of social media. People who are on social media all the time cannot deal with real life."

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Message: 

Social media is bad. Social media friends aren't really your friends.

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