Monday, October 27, 2008

Who's in a Family?

I stole this post from Emily's blog...thank you!

This is the cover for the book "Who’s in a Family?" This book is used to teach young children about all kinds of families. You might notice, that no where on this book cover is a traditional marriage with children (maybe the one on the middle right side? except I honestly can’t tell the gender of either “parent.”).

This is an analysis from my friend at beetlebabee:

I just got a good look at the book, “King and King“, by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, that was read by a second grade school teacher to her entire class in a segment teaching about marriage. This book’s inclusion in the Massachusetts elementary school curriculum is shocking not just for the obviously inflammatory ending where the prince marries another prince instead of the princess, but in the way that it tears down and denigrates traditional marriage and women.

"By the time I was your age, I’d been married TWICE!” a horrible looking, overweight, crooked toothed figure tells her son.

How is this portraying marriage to our little ones? Dirty, Cheap? Meaningless? One by one, the princesses are brought in, “No!” the prince says and goes on to comment about how one princess is too fat, one has crooked teeth, one is black and her arms are too long…. The book sends a message that replaces traditional marriage, it’s not just including, it’s tearing down and replacing.
“Who’s in a Family?” by Robert Skutch is another book used by Massachusetts schools to teach about the family. Not only does it deal with gay families, but it does NOT include traditional, nuclear families on it’s cover. A quick glance illustrates the main point of the book. There are no pictures of what most of us would consider a family. As I look at the arguments of the opposition I have to ask, why the exclusion if there is no anti-traditional agenda?


Michelle said...

Oh, I thought the two women were aunts... Oops.

I don't think there's an "anti-traditional agenda", that's very extreme. Rather, it's a book looking at other forms of families. Opening children to new ideas and letting them know that their family is normal, since their family probably isn't perfect. Several families consist of grandparents raising children and single parents. It's not a nice feeling to think you're family is imperfect, especially when you can do nothing about it.

I don't know about King and King. There are several books with ugly and mean characters, but I don't understand what the author's intentions were.

The Persson's said...

It seems that there is a definate agenda in these books. It would be silly to deny it. If these books were simply trying to introduce a new type of family then they would at least acknowledge the validity of a traditional famliy.

Michelle said...

I'm just offering another view point.

Not all books have anti-something agendas. Just because a book doesn't present something doesn't mean they're against it, either. Perhaps the agenda was to say "Hey! Look! These are ALSO families. We all know about traditional families. Here is something new."

That book doesn't bother me.