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Political Agenda in Children’s Books

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July 6, 2012

We talked about the importance of getting your child involved in politics, but is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed when talking with kids about political matters? It seems that most of you felt that it was important to involve your children with political gestures such as voting. However, many of you didn’t feel that talking in-depth about certain political views or issues was appropriate until an older age.

Political agenda is expected to some extent in the news and media, but what about children’s books? Children’s books are written specifically for younger children, so is it appropriate to include political motivated ideas in the books? I am curious to see what you think about these books I discovered.

Mama Voted For Obama

Mama Voted For Obama is a children’s book written by democratic author Jeremy Zilber. The book is a colorful and cheerful appearing book that is designed to “let your kids know you made the right choice in 2008”. The book features lines such as “she didn’t vote for a sly fox, or a blue ox, or a cat named Socks….Mama voted for Obama”.

Jeremy Zilber also has written the books Why Mommy is a Democrat and Why Daddy is a Democrat.

Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed!

Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed! is a book by author Katharine DeBrecht. She didn’t stop with this one book, in fact she has a whole host of politically inspired books including: Help! Mom! Hollywood’s in My Hamper and Help! Mom! Radicals are Ruining My Country!

And Tango Makes Three

The children’s book, And Tango Makes Three, was one of the most contested books 2006 through 2010. The reason? The book is the story of two adult male penguins who are given a baby egg to hatch. The book chronicles the same-sex penguin couple as it raises the baby chick.

The Lorax 

Many of us grew up reading Dr. Seuss books, but did you catch the political undertones? The Lorax discusses what happens when you don’t properly take care of the environment and the devastation that can occur.The Lorax isn’t the only Dr. Suess book to take on social issues. The Butter Wars is a children’s take on the issues surrounding the cold war and Horton Hears a Who speaks of taking care of the little guy. A person’s a person no matter how small.

So are these books harmless children’s tales or too politically motivated for young minds? I have read The Lorax and Horton Hears a Who too many times to count to my young children, but are they really picking up on the message? And if they are, should I care?

What is your take on politically motivated books? If you are a Democrat would you ready Mommy is a Democrat to your kids before bed. Conversely, if you are a Republican would you read Mom! Help! There are Liberals Under My Bed! to your little ones?

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