Thursday, July 23, 2015

POPCORN by Frank Asch

Eds. Note on July 31, 2017: This racist book is now available as a board book for the youngest readers. Racism sells. 

Dear Editors at Aladdin/Simon & Schuster,

A reader of AICL wrote to ask me about Frank Asch's Popcorn. It is an older book (pub year 1979, from Parents Magazine Press) that I haven't written about before. As a former elementary school teacher, I do remember one of the books about Sam (the bear). Not this one, though. Perhaps I saw it and decided not to use it. With good reason. In it, Sam (the bear) is having a Halloween party. Here he is in his costume:

Source: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/_RDXFS33SaM/maxresdefault.jpg


Here's the old cover:
Source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5474/10652326993_4d45e9c8a1_b.jpg



And, here's the new one, published in 2015 by Aladdin/Simon and Schuster. The synopsis at Amazon tells us "This refreshed edition of a beloved classic features the original text and art with an updated cover." 




It must have made a fair bit of money for you, Aladdin, to be giving it to us again in 2015, with this "updated" cover---but it has racist material! Do you not follow any of the national conversations around stereotyping of Native people? Or, about mascots?

Giving children this book, in 2015, suggests that either you're ignorant of those conversations and the research studies about the harm of such imagery, or, you know about it and don't care.

It is definitely a Book to Avoid. And, it is definitely another book for AICL's "Foul Among the Good" page.

Any chance you can 'stop the presses' so to speak? Or maybe recall what you've already sent out?

Sincerely,
Debbie Reese
American Indians in Children's Literature





Set One: Links to Oyate's BOOKS TO AVOID pages

A few years ago, Oyate removed its Books to Avoid page. A great many people miss that page and write to me asking if I saved those reviews. I didn't--but they aren't gone forever! They're available on the Wayback Machine.

In order to fit within the 200 character limit on "Labels" (the labels are on the right and serve as an index of what is in the post itself), I am creating several pages of the links, arranging them alphabetically. This post includes B thru I.

I'm also going to save a pdf of each one, just in case the Wayback Machine goes down.

Banks, Lynne Reid, The Indian in the Cupboard (and The Return of the Indian)
Cooper, Michael L., Indian School: Teaching the White Man's Way
Dalgliesh, Alice, The Courage of Sarah Noble
Edmonds, Walter D., The Matchlock Gun 
Jeffers, Susan. Brother Eagle, Sister Sky
Irbinskas, Heather, The Lost Kachina

See also:
Set 2
Set 3

Set two: Links to Oyate's BOOKS TO AVOID pages

A few years ago, Oyate removed its Books to Avoid page. A great many people miss that page and write to me asking if I saved those reviews. I didn't--but they aren't gone forever! They're available on the Wayback Machine.

In order to fit within the 200 character limit on "Labels" (the labels are on the right and serve as an index of what is in the post itself), I am creating several pages of the links, arranging them alphabetically. This post includes M through T.

I'm also going to save a pdf of each one, just in case the Wayback Machine goes down.

Marrin, Albert, Sitting Bull and His World and additional comments
Martin, Bill and John Archambault, Knots on a Counting Rope 
Mikaelsen, Ben. Touching Spirit Bear
Rylant, Cynthia. Long Night Moon 
Speare, Elizabeth George. Sign of the Beaver
Taylor, C.J., Peace Walker: The Legend of Hiawatha and Tekanawita
Turner, Ann. The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl

See also:
Set 1
Set 3

Set three: Links to Oyate's BOOKS TO AVOID pages

A few years ago, Oyate removed its Books to Avoid page. A great many people miss that page and write to me asking if I saved those reviews. I didn't--but they aren't gone forever! They're available on the Wayback Machine.

In order to fit within the 200 character limit on "Labels" (the labels are on the right and serve as an index of what is in the post itself), I am creating several pages of the links, arranging them alphabetically. This is the last set.

I'm also going to save a pdf of each one, just in case the Wayback Machine goes down.

Waldman, Neil. Wounded Knee
Wargin, Kathy Jo. The Legend of the Petoskey Stone
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House on the Prairie 

See also:
Set 1
Set 2