Stephen's Reviews > Latawnya, the Naughty Horse, Learns to Say "No" to Drugs

Latawnya, the Naughty Horse, Learns to Say "No" to Drugs by Sylvia Scott Gibson
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's review
Feb 15, 11

did not like it
bookshelves: united-states, 20th-century
Read in February, 2011

I wonder why the book places such emphasis on "smoking DRUGS and drinking" as opposed to just "smoking and drinking?" Is it because the author wishes to distinguish between cigarette smoking, which she apparently thinks is harmless, and crack smoking? Given that the book is clearly autobiographical (the mother's name is Sylvia Horse and the father is James Horse; the author's name is Sylvia, and her husband is James), I wonder if Sylvia sought to distinguish between her own excusable Newports and her daughter's inexcusable crack. And I wonder just how much of this is autobiographical. The presentation seems to be aimed at five-year-olds, but I would hope a child would at least be 12 or 13 before she was getting high and drunk. If your child has access to crack, then I think she needs more direct persuasion and intervention than a shoddily written picture book.

And I suppose it needn't be said that an allegory requires a consistent structure of images and events that interrelate. Simply giving all the characters the surname Horse does not a fable make.
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