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25 March 2016 @ 05:54 pm
Watch out, Wolfie, Granny's got a gun!  
The NRA has decided to get into the fairy tale business. They are posting their own versions of some old tales. But Little Red Riding Hood is not in any danger from the Big Bad Wolf. Granny has a scattergun; Hansel and Gretel are armed to the teeth as well. If you want to take a look, here is a link: http://www.nrafamily.org/articles/2016/1/13/little-red-riding-hood-has-a-gun/.

I would remind folks that Roald Dahl's version of "Little Red Riding Hood" has an armed heroine. She reappears in the story of "The Three Little Pigs," too. Those are meant to be funny. And this underscores the difference between a book with an agenda and one that does not have an ax to grind.

I don't talk much about those books here as they do not need any PR from me even if it is bad PR. But I have read MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY and MELANIE'S MARVELOUS MEASLES and others. In books like these and others, the message wins out over things like character development and other literary qualities. There are dozens of books I read each year that never make it onto my lists of book read, that do not make it into a presentation, that are not floated on to other readers.

Not all of them are heavy message didactic books, either. Some are "celebrity" books. You know them. In addition to the ones by famous people who think, How hard could it be to write a book for kids?" Or, "there are no good books for kids so I shall write them," there are others by people famous in smaller circles. I have one by a former local weather forecaster that should not have seen the slaughter of a tree. And it is not alone. These books sit on a shelf gathering dust. And that is probably the best place for them.

Thankfully, these books are few and far between. I cleanse my palate after reading one of them by picking up a book by an author who, instead of beating a message into the heads of young readers, allows the message to unfold naturally, beautifully, wondrously.
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