Thursday, July 23, 2015

POPCORN by Frank Asch

Dear Editors at Aladdin/Simon & Schuster,

A reader of AICL wrote to ask me about Frank Asch's Popcorn. It is an older book (pub year 1979, from Parents Magazine Press) that I haven't written about before. As a former elementary school teacher, I do remember one of the books about Sam (the bear). Not this one, though. Perhaps I saw it and decided not to use it. With good reason. In it, Sam (the bear) is having a Halloween party. Here he is in his costume:

Source: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/_RDXFS33SaM/maxresdefault.jpg


Here's the old cover:
Source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5474/10652326993_4d45e9c8a1_b.jpg



And, here's the new one, published in 2015 by Aladdin/Simon and Schuster. The synopsis at Amazon tells us "This refreshed edition of a beloved classic features the original text and art with an updated cover." 




It must have made a fair bit of money for you, Aladdin, to be giving it to us again in 2015, with this "updated" cover---but it has outdated material! Do you not follow any of the national conversations around stereotyping of Native people? Or, about mascots?

Giving children this book, in 2015, suggests that either you're ignorant of those conversations and the research studies about the harm of such imagery, or, you know about it and don't care.

It is definitely a Book to Avoid. And, it is definitely another book for AICL's "Foul Among the Good" page.

Any chance you can 'stop the presses' so to speak? Or maybe recall what you've already sent out?

Sincerely,
Debbie Reese
American Indians in Children's Literature





1 comment:

Kacy Helwick said...

Thanks for posting about this. My library system still has 1 copy of the 1979 printing at a branch I don't work at. Will be weeding.