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Daughter's book...

(122 Posts)
EachDubh Sat 07-Nov-20 22:05:19

I know I am reading to much into this and perhaps missing the celebrating difference and diversity here but.... I don't think I can read this book with the eyes of innocence anymore. 😂😂

Dd got her p1 bookbag (5 year old gifts of books etc in Scottish schools). The books ares elected, written especially for the book bag scheme and are lovely. But this book got me thinking.

Brenda is a sheep!
Page 1- these are sheep, pic of sheep.
Page 2- this is also a sheep, this sheep is called Brenda. Brenda has a nice wooly jumper, pic of wolf in wooly jumper.
Page 3- Brenda does all the things sheep do... Next page -.. Because Brenda is a sheep. Obviously lots of repetative languagebto help with reading.
It goes on to say the other aheep think Brenda is the best sheep, Brenda is planning to eat the sheep but they plan a special feast and Brenda doesn't eat them because they are her friends and kind.

My mind is telling the sheep to run away and stay safe, kindness won't always keep you safe, be kind but also be aware.

Am I mad?

OP’s posts: |
KingscoteStaff Sun 08-Nov-20 17:31:19

But I am currently using EXACTLY the same story (different pics, obvs) to teach my primary class that some unpleasant people pretend to be children to groom them online.

EachDubh Sun 08-Nov-20 19:09:43

Well 5 year old requested it tonight, we talked a lot about what we saw and what we read being very different.
Her response to Brenda

OP’s posts: |
ThatIsNotMyUsername Sun 08-Nov-20 19:30:04

Haha - good kid!

HecatesCats Sun 08-Nov-20 20:01:20

EachDubh

Well 5 year old requested it tonight, we talked a lot about what we saw and what we read being very different.
Her response to Brenda


gringringrin

DreadPirateLuna Sun 08-Nov-20 20:04:54

Reminds me of Zootopia, which was all about predators and prey getting along. Cutsie message so long as you don't think too much about it. But what are the predators going to eat? And shouldn't the prey maintain some cautiousness for their own safety?

Wolves can't digest grass and Brenda will starve unless she gets a more substantial meal soon.

Canwecancel2020 Sun 08-Nov-20 22:18:53

I much prefer the subtle tension between daddy pig and mr wolf.

NewlyGranny Sun 08-Nov-20 22:33:42

Hard to credit that this book is up for an award - perhaps an email or two or more to the body granting awards is in order here? Who better to alert them than the protective mums (and grannies) of MN?

DisappearingGirl Sun 08-Nov-20 22:34:13

I much prefer the subtle tension between daddy pig and mr wolf.

Ha! Yes I love that episode

DisappearingGirl Sun 08-Nov-20 22:37:54

I wonder what the author thinks the parent ought to say if the child asks "Is Brenda really a sheep?". Genuine question! How would the author answer this?

HecatesCats Sun 08-Nov-20 22:50:07

Canwecancel2020

I much prefer the subtle tension between daddy pig and mr wolf.


gringringrin

Regularsizedrudy Sun 08-Nov-20 22:57:21

...I’m pretty sure it’s a joke. “Brenda is a sheep” “haha no she’s not those silly sheep are going to get eaten” “oh look they all have tea instead because this is a children’s book and it’s hardly likely to end with a mass slaughter” type thing. Mumsnet really need to calm down with the antitrans stuff. It ain’t that deep.

NewlyGranny Mon 09-Nov-20 06:51:02

Back to Little Red Riding Hood for me, where children can learn about why some people disguise themselves to look harmless. 😉

HecatesCats Mon 09-Nov-20 09:27:52

**Mumsnet really need to calm down

“Calm down dear!”

YetAnotherSpartacus Mon 09-Nov-20 10:17:14

The message perpetrated in this book goes beyond the 'trans debate' - as the previous comment about Red-Riding Hood attests to.

Alicethroughtheblackmirror Mon 09-Nov-20 13:27:34

I agrees with YetAnotherSpartacus, this isn't about trans, it's about basic safeguarding messages of the sort that children's books are often used to convey.

The message here is that if you are kind and give the bad person / wolf lots of love and adulation, they might decide not to hurt you.

EmpressJKRowlingSpartacus Mon 09-Nov-20 13:54:57

The message here is that if you are kind and give the bad person / wolf lots of love and adulation, they might decide not to hurt you.

And if they do, it must be your fault for not being kind enough.

Kantastic Mon 09-Nov-20 14:06:26

wtf @ at the deletions in this thread! Will I be deleted for referring to the deletions? I'm so confused.

It's a parenting website, but strategies for counteracting the harmful and dangerous messages in this book aren't on-topic?
Especially as it's a book that's been distributed by the government, so "just don't buy the book" isn't good enough.

Kantastic Mon 09-Nov-20 14:09:40

Ok, phew, I think I was seeing things. I thought OP's post with her 5yo's work had been deleted and that seemed very excessive.

FWRLurker Mon 09-Nov-20 14:27:08

What an odd book.

As an allegory, it reinforces an “all men are secretly predators” anti men style “feminism” (actually not) while at the same time endorses women’s responsibility for being literally preyed upon (or not)?

Like, of course Brenda wants to attack women eat sheep, all men wolves do. But if the women sheep are nice enough maybe she won’t!!

Totally bizarre.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Mon 09-Nov-20 14:35:43

wingsoverscotland.com/brenda-isnt-a-sheep/ Wings over Scotland is onto it and has video of someone reading the book. Very odd book. Not one I would pick off the shelves for a little one.

EyesOpening Mon 09-Nov-20 14:39:45

Regularsizedrudy

...I’m pretty sure it’s a joke. “Brenda is a sheep” “haha no she’s not those silly sheep are going to get eaten” “oh look they all have tea instead because this is a children’s book and it’s hardly likely to end with a mass slaughter” type thing. Mumsnet really need to calm down with the antitrans stuff. It ain’t that deep.

In conjunction with this though But I am currently using EXACTLY the same story (different pics, obvs) to teach my primary class that some unpleasant people pretend to be children to groom them online it’s really sending out mixed messages to children and it’s not “anti trans” as you put it, it’s stranger danger/people who want to do you harm can pretend they’re nice

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Mon 09-Nov-20 14:44:12

The US has just been providing the rest of the world with an excellent example this last week of what happens when critical thinking skills aren't developed and people accept all sorts of outlandish claims for emotional reasons with no evidence to back them up.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 09-Nov-20 16:15:29

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g

wingsoverscotland.com/brenda-isnt-a-sheep/ Wings over Scotland is onto it and has video of someone reading the book. Very odd book. Not one I would pick off the shelves for a little one.

I saw that piece too:

This isn’t a book about “mistaken identity”. It’s a book about the vulnerable identifying a danger entirely correctly, but being gaslit into believing it’s a mistake and rejecting all their natural protective instincts, brainwashed into accepting and welcoming predators into their midst.

Sums it up nicely.

DidoLamenting Mon 09-Nov-20 17:01:36

DreadPirateLuna

Reminds me of Zootopia, which was all about predators and prey getting along. Cutsie message so long as you don't think too much about it. But what are the predators going to eat? And shouldn't the prey maintain some cautiousness for their own safety?

Wolves can't digest grass and Brenda will starve unless she gets a more substantial meal soon.

That's the perennial problem of children's stories featuring animals isn't it? Especially if they are anthropomorphised.

The size differences in The Wind in the Willows are problematic comparing a badger, a rat, a toad, a mole and a washerwoman.

DidoLamenting Mon 09-Nov-20 17:20:43

I've just watched the video on Wings' site. I hadn't picked up that Brenda's initial reason for pretending to be a sheep is that she intended to eat them. I had assumed Brenda was a trans wolf who wants to be a sheep- but that isn't the narrative. It is literally a wolf in sheep's clothing.

And is the sheep's alternative feast a genuine pre-emptive act to deflect Brenda's evil intentions? Or are we supposed to take it that they just wanted to be kind to their new friend?

The wolf does not, by the way look friendly. Is that deliberate?

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