Ch_jank-caporale's Reviews > Politically Correct Bedtime Stories

Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner
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Feb 02, 2010

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bookshelves: traditional-lit
Read in January, 2010

When this book was published, it was thought quite humorous. I find it rather trite. But it does raise some intersting questions about the evolution of traditional tales and the "moral lessons" that are embedded in them for children. Tongue-in-cheek, Finn Garner "cleans up" the offensive stereotypes. For instance, in the tale I studied this week, Little Red Riding Hood, when the wolf offers to offered accompany her through the dangerous woods, replies, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must be on my way." Grandma, too, exacts her feminist revenge on the woodchopper, who "assumes that womyn and wolves can't solve their own problems without a man's help."
While the tales are often chosen for the entertainment of children, this collection is intended for older children or adults. The PC intentions are neither serious, nor particularly less offensive, though as revisionist tales they certainly have their place, and they do reflect a modern academic perspective in the absurd questions they pose. I would use these stories with High school age students and maybe mature middle school readers. They belong within a study of the genre but should not replace the traditional tales!
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