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To judge a book by its cover

(22 Posts)
ThatWomanAgain Thu 18-Aug-11 16:48:57


Can't quite see this improving my child's self confidence...

momobiker Thu 18-Aug-11 16:54:38


Tee2072 Thu 18-Aug-11 16:55:28


OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 18-Aug-11 16:59:00

Have you seen the tags readers have added?

ThatWomanAgain Thu 18-Aug-11 16:59:35

The tags made me smile wryly.

SaffronCake Thu 18-Aug-11 17:02:06

You can only agree with 15 tags apparently, that's a shame, I was going to tick nearly all of them. Oh well, 15 is a start.

DuelingFanjo Thu 18-Aug-11 17:12:18

has to ba a joke surely, look, he has another book calle divorce stinks

ThatWomanAgain Thu 18-Aug-11 17:14:27

Guardian comment:

Fancy putting your daughter off her food? Then buy her Maggie Goes on a Diet, a children's book aimed – according to Barnes & Noble, one of the many booksellers on whose website it is currently listed – at six- to 12-year-olds. It has been written and self-published by Hawaii-based author Paul Kramer, whose previous titles include Do Not Dread Wetting the Bed, in which little Cynthia "chases away the pee-pee monster"; and Louie the Lobster Mobster, in which a criminal crustacean gets his comeuppance.

The book tells the story of 14-year-old Maggie, who according to its blurb "is transformed from being overweight and insecure to a normal-sized teen who becomes the school soccer star". It's not out until October, but so disquieting is the cover image that perhaps we may, in this case, allow ourselves to judge the book by it. Maggie is depicted as dumpy, pigtailed, wearing an unflattering jumper (has nobody told her that wide lateral stripes aren't a good look when you're carrying a few extra pounds?), staring into the mirror, presumably dreaming of a thinner self who will one day wear the tiny pink prom dress she's holding wistfully to her chest.

We tried contacting Kramer but he was not available to comment. On children's book blog TreasuryIslands one commenter said: "It's not even slightly appropriate for the age group they're aiming it at," and tags such as "body fascism" and "give your children neuroses" have been added to the book's Amazon listing.

Perhaps in Hawaii it's perfectly OK to read a book to your highly impressionable six-year-old daughter about a teenage girl, at the prime age for developing anorexia. Presumably Kramer has written the book with the best of intentions – as a means of addressing America's childhood obesity crisis. But a week after the Advertising Standards Authority banned the children's clothing website from stocking girls' T-shirts carrying the slogan, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," to hear that this book will be hitting the shelves seems bizarre.

DuelingFanjo Thu 18-Aug-11 17:15:16

synopsis here

TheMonster Thu 18-Aug-11 17:17:33

oh dear.

SaffronCake Thu 18-Aug-11 17:25:28

From the synopsis...

This book is about a 14 year old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal sized girl who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image.

Bloody hell. Why do we have to fill little girls full of this? Why? Why? If my 6-12 year old was getting to be a bit chubby I'd subtly change what I serve up for dinner- not give her a bloody complex about it. What business has a 6 year old even knowing what to be fat means??? Mummy and Daddy control the kitchen... don't they?

Do I live on an alternative planet or something?

ThatWomanAgain Thu 18-Aug-11 17:30:09

Ah but Saffron, if only you could lose weight you too would be instantly popular and happy with your life. Fat people are sad and dieting brings happiness doesn't it.

No....wait. I've lost 4.5 stone this year and I haven't been promoted. Do I need to lose MORE?

<screams into a pillow>

SaffronCake Thu 18-Aug-11 17:33:40

Well OBviously yeah, you're still too healthy, that's your trouble. When you can no longer find the energy to list your fingers to the keys then you will have found nirvana...

S'why they call it enlightenment init...

That's be fourty quid ta.

ThatWomanAgain Thu 18-Aug-11 17:35:08

Oh, silly me, I have a bmi in the low range of normal.

It must be underweight.

<stuffs money at Saffron and askes about book deal>

Andrewofgg Thu 18-Aug-11 17:36:39

Holy shit . . .

SarahStratton Thu 18-Aug-11 17:44:13

I'm prepared to be flamed BUT in the last 18 months DD2 has managed to lose nearly 3 stone. She was very overweight despite, eating healthily, and blood tests showed she was borderline thyroid problems.

I understand 100% what you are all saying, but I can also honestly say that losing this weight has transformed her. She has gone from being 'the fat kid', teased, bullied, no friends and very much a loner, to her old, pretty, popular and active self. She is now happy and confident, and she freely admits that it is all due to her losing the weight. A lot of her MH problems have vanished now that she is on medication, has lost weight and is happier. I'd say that is 50/50 the thyroxine and the weight loss addressing her depression.

If a child is overweight, it needs addressing. And with a child of her age it can pretty much only come from them wanting to do it themselves. I wouldn't buy it for her, she was self motivated and had a lot of help from our GP. But I can also honestly say that it wouldn't surprise me if she had bought this book herself.

FoundWanting Thu 18-Aug-11 17:45:29

I don't know whether I'm more angry or saddened by this.

<<boards shuttle for SaffronCake's planet>>

ThatWomanAgain Thu 18-Aug-11 17:47:11

SarahStratton, I think there's a world of difference between a child being able to access advice/ stories with parental/ doctor guidance in partnership and books like this being freely available to ALL young girls.

stickylittlefingers Thu 18-Aug-11 17:49:59

I vividly remember a story in Bunty where a fat friend decided not to be fat any more, and while her thin friend was on holiday for one week, managed to transform herself to thin gorgeous friend, whereupon she lived happily ever after.

And yes I did lap it up, spend my teenage years thinking that being a bit thinner would make me a better person, and dropped under 7 stone and everything went a bit pear-shaped (except me, I was stick shaped!).

I will do everything in my power to try to ensure my DDs NEVER think like this. Not often I want to burn a book...

SarahStratton Thu 18-Aug-11 17:50:13

Do parents not supervise their children's books any more? DD2 is nearly 14 and I still vet what she reads confused

It was after buying a much younger DD1 a book aimed at young teens that turned out to be Very Rude, that I decided I still had to check (and read) pretty much every book that came through the front door.

stickylittlefingers Thu 18-Aug-11 17:53:23

totally agree with thatwomanagain - you don't hand medicine out to all and sundry because it will make a few people better, but a few people sick.

Also, I think the message should be - don't be obese, it makes you much more likely to have all sorts of further medical problems. Not don't be obese - ignorant people will be horrible to you and that's somehow your responsibility.

pigletmania Thu 18-Aug-11 18:11:52

My goodness where do I start. This is a sure way to psycholologically damage a child! As if children haven't got to put up with enough shit in their young lives that we did not have to worry about when we were young. Oh and it would be written by a man would'nt it, and depict an overweight teenage girl wanting to fit into what looks like a size 0 dress. Well this book is certainly not on my dd book list and never will be.

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