So I started this post about Dr. Seuss…

So I started this post about Dr. Seuss…

I was literally in the middle of writing this post about a sort of picture book biography that I just checked out from the library about Dr. Seuss and his writing of The Cat in the Hat. Then, ’cause I can get distracted easily, I saw and read this article on Facebook, and I had to redirect my thoughts.

The article referenced is a little lengthy, so let me just summarize it. It appears that upon analyzing both Dr. Seuss’s books, as well as statements the man made himself, much of it includes racist imagery, particularly towards African Americans and the Japanese.  As a result of being made aware of this information, the National Education Association (NEA), who usually coordinates and suggests activities for Read Across America, seems to be making the move towards celebrating diverse books instead of Dr. Seuss books.

So once I read the article, I lost my drive to do my book review.  Although I enjoyed the book, I started to now think about what information may have been missing from the text, and if I should even read the book with my own children.  I’ve decided not to, and I’ll return the book to the library tomorrow.  I’ll also be rereading some of the books mentioned in the research to see if I notice some of the imagery mentioned.

Am I going to tell you not to read Dr. Seuss books? Nope. But I am going to share with you again the article that I read here. I’ll suggest that you think about the imagery present when you read Dr. Seuss books with your children.  I’m also going to share with you as one who is also #RaisingReaders, I know Dr. Seuss books have been known to be great for motivating beginning readers, that was literally the goal of many of his books. Luckily, in this day and age there are great alternatives, books by Mo Willems being the first that comes to mind, Pete the Cat books coming in a close second.

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An option better than Dr. Seuss.

So, although I started this post as a book review, unfortunately it didn’t end that way. But I feel like I wouldn’t be doing my duty as a blogger if I didn’t share the information that I feel is important to #RaisingReaders.

Happy reading!

 

 

Read Aloud #1- Dr. Seuss, of course!

Read Aloud #1- Dr. Seuss, of course!

As I mentioned in this week’s earlier post, since March is Read Aloud month, I want to share some of my favorite read alouds to help anyone who is #RaisingReaders and add to their bedtime book arsenal. Since my school district and hundreds of others had Read Across America events celebrating Dr. Seuss this week, why not start with one of my favorites from that classic author?

Read Aloud #1…

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I know, I know, its not Green Eggs and Ham, Cat in the Hat, or even Oh, the Places You Will Go!, but I think it’s still a good one.

In this story, our main character Marvin is not ready to “go”, and throughout the simply worded rhyming book, he’s told to go in many different ways, by whomever needs him to leave.  Although we never are explicitly told where he needs to go, many assume Marvin needs to go to bed.

I picked this particular book because 1) any Dr. Seuss book is almost always a good read aloud. 2) I LOVED this book when I was a child, so it makes my read aloud that much more joyful to share with my children. Now to be honest, I can not for the life of me remember why I enjoyed this book so much, so I even texted my mom to see if she remembered, and her only response was, “rhythm?”, which was not really helpful. However, every time I see the cover of this book I get a smile on my face.

So even if you’re not into this particular book or if you think your child is too old for it, hopefully it still sparked some ideas for you. If you’re ever struggling to come up with titles to read with your child, try reflecting on what books you remember fondly as a child, like I did with Marvin, and choose some of those. I know, you may be concerned about how old the books you loved as a child might be, and if that would keep your child from enjoying it. However, my daughter loved Marvin K. Mooney, and it was published in 1972! Also, chances are many of the books you enjoyed may be considered classics, and those are usually pretty timeless. When all else fails, grab a book by Dr. Seuss!

Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book? Feel free to share it in the comments below!

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