Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Peter Rabbit vs real rabbits
This is something I've thought about for years.
Ever since I started buying childrens books before we got married.
Do anthropomorphized animals in children's books confuse kids about
real animals? Would my child walk up to a bear in the woods and expect
to have tea with it? (You can find all sorts of things to worry about when
you are a parent....)
And here is Scientific American with an article on it. Turns out there was
something to my thoughts.
"The researchers say for children to appreciate animals as organisms with their own life histories and behaviors, the creatures should be presented in a biologically realistic manner. We don’t want to deny Peter Rabbit his tea. But maybe kids should also hear how a rabbit’s long ears probably help them detect predators. It’s a true story."
Otoh. I grew up to respect bears. Our children now know the difference between Peter Rabbit and real rabbits. But I do wonder about the books I buy all the grand nieces and nephews (I *am* the Book Aunt.) The books I write and illustrate for them. Just a bit. Maybe a disclaimer... and Abby thinks a squirrel as the protagonist in a book is just plain silly.
Full article here