The Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

You know, I was really looking forward to reading this title with my sons, Lukas and Mikah. But boy, what a disappointment it was. Here's why: the main character, the oldest sister of three is out and out disrespectful to her mother. I mean, brutally disrespectful, and I can't explain to my boys why this part of the story just wouldn't have made it into the book if I had been editing it myself. It wouldn't have made it if I had written it, as a matter of fact. Don't get me wrong: I didn't not read it to them. I've actually read it a couple times more than the original time, but as a dad I've stopped every time and made it a point to let them know this is just wrong how the girl behaves.

So people might argue that it's just a book, that kids get that it's in the world of make-believe, but if that were the case, why is it that most of these same folks won't support a book that is ugly to one minority group or another? They'd condemn a book that includes the N-word so fast, or anything about kids getting bullied, etc. I would, too, mind you. Because books to affect kids' thinking and behavior. I'm not gonna keep a book from my kids: but it is my responsibility to raise them in the way I know to be right, and so reading to them is key, but pointing out weaknesses and faults of any kind is just as important, if not more so.

This morning, my son Lukas asked if I'd already put this post up, because I'd told him I would. He was checking up on me, to make sure I didn't fail.

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