Politically Correct Children’s Books & a Giveaway

It’s no secret that I love books, which is why I’m giving two away at the end of this post.

But some of the classics from when I was a kid would probably fall under the “not politically correct enough” category today, seeing as people have evolved to suck the fun out of everything.

kidsbooks

So while I read these books and didn’t become the Unabomber, I thought it would be fun to take a cynical eye to some classics. And because I’m all about solutions, I will also propose a more “modern” take on the books.

Green Eggs and Ham

Summary: Sam I Am tries to peer pressure a friend into eating a potentially dangerous substance. (If you ever come across green ham, it’s probably horribly expired. Do not eat it!) While he initially resists, he eventually gives in and realizes it’s not as bad as he thought. So basically parents say drugs are bad, but if your friend likes it, then it’s good enough for you.

Suggestion: In this updated classic, Sam starts a food blog in which he details the merits of eating “green” eggs in the sense that they are eco-friendly, free-range organic eggs grown on a farm where chickens have spa days and sip Perrier. He shares a variety of healthy recipes focused on locally-sourced ingredients that win him fans and friends.

Frog & Toad are Friends

Summary: While this book claims “Frog and Toad are always there for each other—just as best friends should be,” Frog is often a terrible friend to Toad. Toad is embarrassed by his swimsuit, and Frog laughs at him with all the other animals. When they fly a kite, Frog just stands there with the string while Toad runs with the kite, getting constant abuse from other teasing animals. Thanks to Frog, Toad is trapped in a vicious cycle between narcissism and self-conscious insecurity.

Suggestion: Frog and Toad are “Friends,” just as Frog and Toad are “Together” in the sequel, if you know what I mean. Toad was just trying to be “fabulous” in the swimsuit incident and Frog was annoyed that Toad left the seat up at the lily pad again. These books follow in the steps of the first character to ever come out—Bi-curious George—and readers are shown that love and families can take many forms.

Cat In the Hat

Summary: A giant mutant cat shows up at the house while the mom is out and proceeds to touch and play with everything while the kids look on in terror. They try to get this strange intruder to leave without success, and the cat proceeds to release two “Things” that tear around the house, destroying everything. The cat cleans up the house in the end, but this encourages felonious behavior.

Suggestion: Seeing a cat show up at their house wearing a gigantic hat, the kids quickly whip out their iPads and start taping what they see. When the mother returns home, she finds they’ve posted a video to YouTube of the next Internet cat sensation that quickly goes more viral than Keyboard Cat ever did.

Cinderella

Summary: Girl, evil step-relatives, menial gender-stereotypical labor, geriatric godmother, pumpkin, prince, shoe.When the females of the town attend a ball for the chance to marry one man because he is rich royalty, a fairy swoops down, switches out Cinderella’s peasant garb and gives her glass slippers that DON’T EVEN FIT. She attends the ball, wins the heart of the prince and goes back to being “plain” at midnight.

Suggestion: Instead of women being portrayed as shallow, vindictive and sometimes helpless victims waiting to be rescued, in this version Cindy moves out, goes back to school and opens a fair-trade shoe company that produces only comfortable and practical footwear called “Fairy Footwear.” At a fundraiser for her non-profit dedicated to eliminating small rodent labor, she meets a young man who respects her for her brains and not her beauty.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Like the blog? Buy the books!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

I’m giving away a copy of both “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “Moms are Nuts” to one lucky U.S. resident. All you have to do is leave a comment about books–your favorite, the worst, a “politically correct” version of a classic, etc. by Tuesday, June 17. I’ll randomly pick a winner and notify them by email. Good luck!

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47 responses to “Politically Correct Children’s Books & a Giveaway

  1. Let’s re-write Huck Finn
    NOT!

  2. This piece was brilliant (as usual)! You really need to run with these and see about getting published on Nicole Shaw’s Ninja Mom Blog Character Asassination. This is perfect!

    I totally didn’t know the Frog and the Toad story but I can’t believe a true friend would say the other looked bad in a swimming suit. I like your version better.

  3. Abby, I love your imagination and creativity! Your suggestions are great. Thanks for this great read. :-)

  4. The absolutely worst children’s books are the ones written by Madonna. I wanted to stick a fork in my eye every time my daughter found the copy of The English Roses that was “lost”. Who frigging thinks it’s a good idea for Madonna to write children’s books anyway?

  5. Love the creativity! I never even looked at these books in this light, but I love how you switched it up! Especially the story about Cindy, the strong and independent young woman.

  6. We all know what the road to hell is paved with.

  7. You forgot about the giving tree. Co dependant relations all the way.

  8. I would definitely buy shoes from a company that sold “comfortable and practical footwear called “Fairy Footwear.” ” When does it going online?

  9. Marisa Arredondo

    I love to read anything by David Sedaris!

  10. I love your versions. I think mom’s should rewrite all of the classics. The Fox in the politically correct version of Little Red Riding Hood has spoken…

  11. Haaaa the first one with “green” eggs is perfect. Someone should definitely market their eggs as “green eggs” and make buckets of money from it.

  12. I’m obsessed with the series A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones series) and I love anything written by Nicholas Sparks. My husband and I tend to get lost in books… Between the Game of Thrones series, The Hunger Games Trilogy and the Harry Potter series, we own them all and have read them more times than we can count. Thankfully the love and appreciation we have for books has transferred to our 3 children so far.

  13. I was an elementary school teacher before having a baby, and I always love reading the Roald Dahl books aloud!

  14. I am reading again and just love the act of it. Beyond blogs and FB status updates and articles that are telling me to read. I’m reading.

    3 of my favorite books of all time: The Prince of Tides, The Red Tent, Good in Bed.

    and this was so funny and so incredibly true. When we started watching much loved childhood Christmas movies with our own sons we were like WTH is this? They just let Cornelius and the Monster just fall over the side of a cliff and don’t care? They make fun of Rudolph but he forgives them (even Santa!!!) and helps them out. Yeah, right!

    Green Eggs and Ham? that is never a good idea. ;)

    Thanks for the giggle Abby.

  15. Since I can’t seem to stop watching any YouTube video involving a cat, I’m sure I’d watch this one. It’s a sickness.

  16. Jennifer Winters

    I am going to have to submit my two suggestions:

    Hop On Pop by Dr. Seuss (Thought it would be appropriate since father’s day is Sunday)

    Summary:
    Just a great learners book for young children giving them the awesome suggestion to jump up and down on their father along with other silly rhymes that make absolutely no sense.

    Suggestion:
    Teach your children how to read by making rhymes that actually make sense without hurting any family members!

    Are You My Mother by P. D. Eastman

    Summary:
    A newborn bird falls out of a tree (and of course survives) and automatically starts looking for a maternal figure. (must be a genetic trait to come out of a shell and instantly know that someone out there is your mother.) Honestly, who would come up with the idea that a crane (and I don’t mean the bird) could be a mother even if it was to a skid loader!

    Suggestion:
    A newborn bird falls out of a tree (and of course survives) and is automatically adopted by an orphaned child. Need I say more?

    Then End

    P.S. I love your blog!!!!

  17. It’s about time somebody did something about small rodent labor…you go, Cindy!

  18. My son loves being read books , we like going to the library to get new books. V for Vegan is great!

  19. Man. I just read Coraline… It was on one of those must read lists. I wish it had been longer. Now I suppose I’ll check our Life of Pi.

  20. I am a bookworm. Always have been. I read constantly to my children as well. Their fave? Dr. Suess. My fave? Stephen King. I read my first novel by Stephen King at the age of 10, Judy Bloom had grown old and too babyish for me. Lol! Thanks for consideration Abby!

  21. I just found Giraffes Can’t Dance about a giraffe who gets made fun of by the other jungle animals since he doesn’t dance the way they do. Once he finds “his” music, the animals are super-impressed with his moves. My 16mo loves it.

  22. Cinderella runs off with one of her step sisters! (OK, that was lame.) Loved your post and politically correct children’s books! Hot topic!

  23. My husband and I recently watched the Youtube video of Morgan Freeman reading the book by Adam Mansbach called “Go the F*** to Sleep”, and almost peed ourselves, absolutely hysterical. Definitely a bedtime story for parents, but after 6 kids (15-25), we have felt this way many times!

  24. Hilarious! And spot on! My boys’ favorites are “Goodnight Moon” (really it’s just a child attempting to stay up as late as possible, or he hears voices like inanimate objects are communicating with him and THAT’S why he can’t sleep) and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (who doesn’t know when enough is enough and takes a voracious bite out of life and everything else it comes across, may have indulgence issues). Great post! Thank you for the smile on my face!

  25. Great post, as always! I’d change Hop on Pop! to have Pop being dragged off to jail for allegations of child molestation. Then, that wouldn’t be a children’s book anymore. Or would it?

    When my daughter was 5 or 6 she loved the ‘David’ books, by David Shannon. She corrected little David whenever he did something wrong, which was always, even though she’d done the same things! Well, she never ran down the street naked like he did. At eight, she still reads the books and cracks up at his antics.

  26. bakesinslippers

    this is hilarious, can you imagine if these were the real stories!

  27. The Lonely Doll. A tale of a doll who allows herself to be punished both physically and emotionally by a Teddy bear, so she won’t be lonely, is a sickening misogynistic book intended for young girls in the 1950’s. I don’t suggest you read it, it makes you feel unclean.
    Modernization: Dolly, who had been held captive for years, finally escapes her captor (who dies under suspicious circumstances in jail) who had abused her. She gets counseling, goes to college, and lectures on women’s issues, and tries to live a normal life.

  28. I’ve no idea of what ‘politically correct’ means to other peoples / Nations / Religions / Sceptics / Agnostic’s etc But I’m sure there’s always someone to point me in the right / wrong direction.

    Parody of parodies. Parody, parody. Its all parody.

    Love your music of sad irony

    ::sighs::

    Synethesically yours

    K

  29. Love it. More please, with cover art. It’s funny reading to my daughter now and seeing all the massive amounts of “inappropriate” that make up all the classics.

  30. I loved this post! It made me laugh! I always have and always will love The Count of Monte Cristo.

  31. Terribly afraid to comment on a book for fear I will insult someone. Just finished reading my last one and looking for the next, hoping it will be yours…

  32. I just bought my friends’ kids one of my old favorites The Monster At The End of This Book.

  33. You always manage to crack me up, and I remember all these classics. Yet some how I turned out not to be a homicidal maniac. whew, close call.

  34. This was pretty funny. I thought myself many times that if the ham and eggs are green, then they must be expired. And everyone likes this book about a cat that just breaks into a house – where the heck were the parents? Who leaves their kids alone with no one but a fish to be in charge?

    Anyway, your blog is fun I’ll keep coming back. I’m new to this blogging thing myself, so please feel free to stop by at:

    http://www.bookshelfbattle.com

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