Childrenbooks are known to be a major foundation for children of young agestowards the way they look at the general society and moreparticularly parents. Children ought to be molded so as to beresponsible in their adulthood. Therefore, children books have agreat contribution towards development of children worldwide.Children literature books are creative artwork pieces that buildchildren’s ability to think and internalize their environment andsociety at large. A child’s psychomotor development requiressocietal effort. Apart from parents and other siblings supporting achild’s development, literature books help create an effective mindthat can easily figure different scenarios[CITATION Arm92 l 1033 ].Due to the simplicity of children literature books, children easilyread, understand and emulatethe characters portrayed I the book. This paper draws attention onchildren’s books and their effect on kids and the society. Thepaper is focused on three books including MotherGoose and The Sly Fox,the sick day, and polar babies. The books form a collection of facts,opinions, and stereotypes dominant in upbringing children.
Aftera critical study of the trend in literature and especially forchildren’s books, Brott, embarks on writing his book, ‘NotAll Men are Sly Foxes’.Brott explores the fallacy where the male are regarded inattentiveand unconcerned in comparison with women who most times are regardedcaring and official workers as opposed to domestication (Brott, p2).‘NotAll Men are Sly Foxes’is a children’s book that fetches an argument worth considering.Brott argues that most books in the society today owes a structuretailored with more focus on women, illustrating and sometimes evenexaggerating their societal roles. To him, women are equated to menin the roles they play which is not limited to ‘firefighters’ and‘male carriers’ (Blott p.4). Further, men are shown asirresponsible chaps who are lazy, uncaring, neglectful and evenabsentees in the child’s life. While that case may be the oppositeof the real scenario, we cannot help but explore these books thoughif care is not exercised, men may end up securing negative publicity.
Inadditional to the outside roles as carriers, women are stillportrayed ‘natures’ and ‘caretakers’ in the family. However,whichever ways the books are looked at, they possess a strong andconscious desire to uplift the status of women (Susan, 2008). It hasbeen highly domesticated so as to encourage children to rise andcapture the professional jobs and other higher responsibility.According to Brott, children’s books never represent the realityotherwise the level of irresponsibility we would witness in thesociety would be intolerable (Blott p8). It would be therefore rightto say that nature is still thriving as well as caring andresponsible men. The books perpetuate the early stereotypes thatexpose the father figure negatively in the society.
Furthersupport in the translations above are shown in the text ‘motherGoose and the sly fox’ a book that vividly compares the rolesplayed by women and men in an animation setup. A single mother ofSeven Goslings, mother goose, naturally cunning and intelligent beatsthe lazy, irresponsible and neglectful, sly fox. The book illuminatesthe hard work determination and care owed to women[CITATION Par03 l 1033 ].Despite the very many pups under the care of the goslings,still makes it feed them in a homemade soup served on admirable andvaluable cups of porcelain. Precisely, in addition to being anentrepreneur and a successful one, she still has time to attend toher goslings. On the contrary, sly fox, a neglectful and presumablyunemployed single father lives with his filthy hungry pups in a dirtyand unhealthy environment that still holds the leftovers for pastmeals. Men are still negatively portrayed
Thesick day,a book by Patricia McLachlan shows the true worth of fathers whenmothers attend to their official duties. It is contrary to most booksthat portrays the father as irresponsible and always on the move. Inthis book, Emily, the victim and child in the family sicken. Herfather takes up the responsibility to look after and take care of her(McLachlan 2). The book illuminates a caring, loving and a reasonabledad who irrespective of the quire and obstinate demands he controlshimself and acts appropriately. Emily asks her father to tie her hairin a ponytail because it would make her feel better, even while hewas busy searching for the thermometer (McLachlan 7-10). Further, thefather still looks for a plastic giraffe toy to put in her soup afterEmily’s complains of a plain soup (McLachlan 15-16). However, thisis a clear differentiation between the personalities yielded by bothsexes. When the father falls seek, the mother would not even attendthe job to take care of him. Emily would also not abandon the fatherafter the great concern he showed. The story illustrates contentmentwith a job done by the father. This story brings the indifference toBrott`s analysis. The father figure takes a new face as the caretakerof the family. Still, he takes the domestic approach which numerousliterature stories have opposed[CITATION Sus08 l 1033 ].The mother,on the other hand, the mother is officiated to attend duties, a rarepractice in many children’s stories[CITATION Jud14 l 1033 ].Other texts illuminating the importance of the male figure includethe TigerEyes,children’s literature focuses on the important of men in thesociety. The father figure is an important element in a family notonly to the kids but the wife too. Judy, the writer, illustrates themisery that a family goes through after the dad’s murder. Itbecomes the aftermath of a family falling apart. The mother would notstand the pain and isolation and ends up relocating to a distant aunt(Judy 19). Davey one of the siblings ends up wagering in search forthe love and comfort though he very well knows the scene would beirreplaceable. Problems arose such as theft and hopelessness.Critically, the books are against the decree portrayed in earlierforms of writing.
Polarbabies by Susan ring is an exciting children’s’ book suited forthose between the ages of two and three. The book is about a polarbear with two of its loving kids gleamingly embracing each other inwhat we could term as a true parental love. The book illustrates theparental role not limited to social education and protection. On thecontrary, it indicates the hostility that may arise in the socialsettings with parents. The parental bear embarks on teaching thelittle bears to swim, walk on ice and swim. The ultimate for thehappy day appears as an angry polar bear emerge and plots to kill thefamily. However, the parent saves the kids by a quick hold on themand running away (Ring 33). Interestingly, the book mentions nothingregarding the gender for the parent bear. However, going with thecurrent setting of many children books, we can boldly conclude thatthe bear was the mother. Rarely are male species seen spending somuch time with neither the kids nor expressing elongated concernsover their kids instead, they would take a walk and shone in theevening. However, the hostility of the huge polar bear would beattributable to the male gender. Care and concern, in addition todomestication, females are eminent in the parental role.
Inconclusion, the stereotypic tendency to present an irresponsible malefigure is dominant in kids’ literature while females are officiatedin roles as opposed to domestication. In contrast with the realexistence, we would highly refute such evocations. In the modernsociety, women are more of in the kitchen while men are outgoing.According to Grott (p. 4) the world would be full of criminals, andirresponsible men were such scenarios the reality. It is therefore,evident that reasonable, responsible, caring, and loving men arestill present in the society. Some of the teachings championedthrough this kind of literature impact negative perceptions, and thatwould influence their perception to their parents and the society(Glott 6). It would therefore, be justified to conclude that shouldsuch texts persist, there will result in a generation dominated bystereotypes that woman is the only able in the society.
Armin, B. (1992). Not All Men are Sly Foxes. Washington DC: Newsweek.
Blume, J. (2014). Tiger Eyes. New York: Pac Macmillan.
Conover, C. (1991). Mother Goose and the Sly Fox. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux.
Partricia, M. (2003). The Sick Day. New York: Random House Children`s Books.
Susan, R. (2008). Polar Babies. New York: Random House Children`s Books.