Having lately been examining two versions of Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Dolittle (1920, 1988) and three versions of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964, 1973, 1998), we’ve been addressing this question: Do Bowdlerized texts alter the ideological assumptions of the original? The answer is more complicated than you might think.
The heated issue over racist language in children’s literature has once again made headlines across the continent.
One of Germany’s oldest children’s publishers, Thienemann, has decided to revise the text of Die Kleine Hexe (The Little Witch) after receiving a letter of complaint, the Guardian reported last week. A German father, Mekonnen Mesghena, wrote to the publishers explaining that the language was so offensive he could not continue reading it to his seven-year-old daughter.
This project involved researching, testing and evaluating a new approach to teaching and learning in order to enhance the language and literacy of children from diverse backgrounds and improve learning support at a time of changing educational needs. The increasing number of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds, many of them New Arrivals, presents both challenges and opportunities to schools in terms of teaching and learning. This new approach builds on the potential of image and visual strategies, often overlooked in the curriculum, as a means of addressing the complex issue of literacy development.
Many children’s classics are also highly offensive. Does that mean you should skip them altogether?
There are many children’s books to help children understand the horror of history, or introduce them to the failure to understand the horror of history. But explaining how those horrors play out in everyday life, through a thousand subtle means, often unexpected, like children’s books, seems nearly impossible.
LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Co. is defending its newest princess following a backlash over her Hispanic-influenced ethnicity.
A new character named Sofia will star in the TV movie “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess” airing Nov. 18 on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Hispanic advocacy groups have questioned whether the fair-skinned, blue-eyed young princess is an accurate representation of the Hispanic population and wondered why Disney isn’t doing more to promote its first princess with Hispanic-inspired roots.