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Am I being a killjoy about this school book?

(43 Posts)
SenseofEntitlement Sun 09-Oct-11 21:24:05

ARGH. Apoligies for the blog link, but I have put pictures up here

My 4yo DD1 brought home a school library book where the message is explicity that the main aim is to find a man, and that there way to do that is to wear pretty dresses and not be messy.


I need to say something to school. How can I say something without being "that parent"? If it is relevant, me and my husband volunteer a lot with the school - we have each been in to read to the kids4 or 5 times and helped on a school trip, and she only started a few weeks ago, so it isn't like we are just there to criticize.

I realise it is likely the teacher has no idea what is in the book, how do I raise it?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 09-Oct-11 21:25:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SharonGless Sun 09-Oct-11 21:29:53

Good god, I can't believe they would let that shite in a school. Any teacher worth their salt would get rid of it. Am going to check at our school they haven't got this book. Be proud to be "that parent"

SenseofEntitlement Sun 09-Oct-11 21:31:29

How can I put it with the school?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 09-Oct-11 21:33:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

giyadas Sun 09-Oct-11 21:36:10

Yep, I'd be that parent too.
Perhaps suggest an alternative. the princess knight is very good, DD loved it.

bellabelly Sun 09-Oct-11 21:43:58

IF you were looking at this book with an older child you could use it as a great starting point for a discussion about stereotypes, gender roles, etc etc. However, you just want your 4 year old to read and enjoy good stories really, don't you? Speaking as a teacher, I'd be very grateful to any parent for bringing this utter drivel to my attention and would happily chuck it in the bin immediately! Iwouln't think of you as being "that parent" - not precious or pushy at all to challenge the school about this! There's certainly no literary merit in it either, is there?

SenseofEntitlement Sun 09-Oct-11 21:51:07

I will quite happily donate a copy of princess smartypants or whatever to replace it. if they want. Glad to see I'm not being OTT though.

What should I do?

ecclesvet Sun 09-Oct-11 21:57:19

I liked how they made sure to include a wide range of ethnicities whilst spewing that gender-role crap. How PC!

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 09-Oct-11 22:12:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tchootnika Sun 09-Oct-11 22:15:12

Donating a couple of books is a great idea.
If you think they'll see you as that parent (which sadly they might do), then just be a laughing and light-hearted as possible about it. Maybe praise lavishly some of their better books (while adding your donations, of course), so that you can cheerfully point out that this rather dire non-event of a 'story' won't be missed...
Good luck!

falasportugues Sun 09-Oct-11 22:15:21

I am appalled. what a vile book. Who coordinates the library/ parents into read at the school? Keep hold of the book, and next time you go in to read, catch them, and show it to them. try 'perhaps you haven't seen this one'. I would try to keep it informal.... ie not make an appointment if poss. good luck. I have also been wondering whether to complain about the bratz our school has for free play.

Panzee Sun 09-Oct-11 22:17:09

Do you have a reading journal? If you put a note in about the reading being fine, but you hope that your daughter doesn't take the message about being pretty in order to get a man too seriously, the teacher should get the hint.

If I had sent that book home I would be mortified.

scaevola Sun 09-Oct-11 22:19:27

I think you should voice your disquiet about the book - schools sometimes buy in packs so not every teacher has seen the content of every book.

I certainly complained about one book my DS was given (for totally different reasons) and it was quietly reassessed (it was OK for older children but it vanished from the KS1 buckets).

celticlassie Sun 09-Oct-11 23:36:42

Oh God! I actually can not believe that books like that are still written, never mind distributed in schools! The fact that girls are being taught that if they don't 'play nice' and wear the dress and the silk slippers they won't be accepted is APPALLING!

What about, "The princess, in her jeans, sat down to talk to the Prince and he realised that she was bright, funny and intelligent, and kind to other people, and that what she was wearing did not matter."

In this day and age, surely this is the message we should be giving to our daughters.

I tend to (to my shame) be quite laid back about feminism matters, but am horrified by this.

solidgoldbrass Sun 09-Oct-11 23:45:03

That is breathtakingly awful. I have complained about books in the past, especially this one. It amazes me that shit like that gets published.

MrsFogi Sun 09-Oct-11 23:52:45

We have this book at home. I have no idea where it came from and it is of course my dds' favorite book much of the time. I have simply taken a large black marker to every page and changed the storylines to make them acceptable. DD1 sometimes asks why the print is different and I tell her it's because the original story was rubbish so I have improved it. Great fun to re-write this sort of book I find.

Himalaya Mon 10-Oct-11 08:00:15

Go be 'that parent'! Do it nicely, constructively and with your own donations - it will be fine.

This is a really low quality book. It looks like one of those cheap, contract produced books from 'The Works' - it doesn't have an author on the front cover for example. It's not like you are asking them to ban The Taming of the Shrew. This book has no redeeming value and looks like it was produced on the cheap with little thought.

Schools don't usually buy books from The Works. I wonder if this book found it's way into school by way of a donation - someone gave the school a big box of unwanted books and a TA sorted through them, and kept the ones in good condition. It may well be an over sight that it found it's way into the class (?) / school (?) library rather than someone thinking it was a good thing for children to read.

Tchootnika Mon 10-Oct-11 11:02:32

That's just what I was thinking, Himalaya...
It looks like an unwanted book (I wonder why?!) that found it's way into the library and was lef there as 'harmless girly stuff' (or something)... Is there one in every class room bookshelf? There seems to be, but actually getting rid of this stuff if you can rather than 'tactfully' ignoring it is definitely the right thing, Sense.

SenseofEntitlement Mon 10-Oct-11 12:13:23

I used to be an Usborne rep, and had to quit suddenly because of my health, so I still have quite a few brand new books hanging around the house - I can easily go in with a pile of new books that aren't offensive. I was a bit worried I was over reacting, as I do tend to be a bit Guardian reading/feminist/mumsnetty (as in the stereotypes) and so maybe my view of what is normal is a bit left of centre...

Good to hear that I'm not being daft smile

giyadas Mon 10-Oct-11 12:16:24

I like MrsFogi's thinking. Have at it with a big black marker, and innocently return it as normal grin
or one of the more adult suggestions above

MoChan Mon 10-Oct-11 12:28:15

OMG I would be FUMING. There's no way I wouldn't (politely) ask for it to be removed from the school library.

savoycabbage Mon 10-Oct-11 12:35:11

God it's hideous! I can hardly believe my eyes. I would definitely have something to day about it.

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 10-Oct-11 12:35:18

Oh my good grief.

The strange thing is that it starts off so well. I like the picture of the princess climbing the tree. And there are so, so many different directions in which it could have gone (e.g. "dressing comfortably is fine, but if you are so messy that you keep losing stuff you are taking it a bit too far and your parents are probably right that you need to tidy up occasionally" or "on reflection, a clean pair of trousers would probably have been a better choice for a garden party" or "Harry and Poppy went off and played football/cricket/climbed a tree together"). It must have taken real talent to trace unerringly the line of most jaw-dropping offensiveness.

Mind you, croquet is a VICIOUS, ruthless game. They missed a trick there on their quest to make the New Poppy as simpering and bland as possible.

mrsravelstein Mon 10-Oct-11 12:38:19

that really is offensive garbage, and i'm not easily offended.

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