Creepy Children’s Books?

Generally speaking, when an online article is followed by thirteen pages of reader comments, you DON’T want to read them. We all know those comment threads that are full of poorly constructed, emotionally charged polemic on one side of an argument or another. There’s little that embodies the sad state of social dialogue as well as an angry comment thread.

Well, here’s one you’ll want to read. Lisa Belkin’s New York Times article on ‘creepy’ children’s books resulted in pages and pages of commentary from parents on the creepiness or non-creepiness of such classics as The Giving Tree, Rainbow Fish, and I Love You Forever. Never mind that the mother in Muncsh’s beautiful story embodies the heart of motherhood; her regular visits to her son’s sleep are considered ‘stalking’. Never mind that Silverstein’s generous tree is never suggested as a model of parental behavior; her irrational giving of limb and leaf is an unhealthy suggestion to new mothers. There’s so much I could say about these books – and these comments – but with so many other readers dropping their opinions on this article, I think I’ll hold my peace.

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