Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Brown Bear, Brown Bear Debacle

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Apparently the Texas State Board of Education thought they saw something troublesome and hastily made a motion to remove the popular picture book from their curriculum list in January after confusing Bill Martin Jr., the author, with another author Bill Martin who wrote a book on Marxism.

Oh, please! Did the board members even take the time to look at the picture book in question? Why would it matter, even if the author had been who they thought he was? Brown Bear is about as innocent as any picture book out there and my kids can recite it from memory. What do you think? Should an author's political or religious views come into factor when determining book appropriateness, even if their views don't have anything to do with the subject of the book in question?

Brown, Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? ranked #30 on Fuse #8 Top 100 Picture Book List. Interestingly enough, in the entry describing the book, Elizabeth Bird mentioned that Bill Martin Jr. wrote a Christian themed version of the book called Adam, Adam What Do You See? Bet you'll never see that title on the curriculum list.

Read more here in The Huffington Post and

(Thanks to author Laurel Synder for posting about this on Kidlitosphere.)


Katy said...

Gah! Ridiculous! Frustrating! I hope the people on that board are ashamed of themselves.

I think books should each be taken on their own merit, not the author's political or religious views. Those views can find their way into books, but that would all be part of taking each book on their own individual merit.