Monday, December 12, 2016

Not recommended: POCAHONTAS by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire

A reader wrote to ask me about Pocahontas by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire. It came out in 1946, which might seem like it is so old that you can't get it... but you can. It is still in print. It is one of those books (there are many!) that gets printed again and again. It is one of those books that I look at and turn away from. It is one of those subjects (Pocahontas) that wears me out.

So, this is a quick reply about the D'Aulaire's Pocahontas. I do not recommend it. It has the word "squaw" in it. It shows men, sitting with their arms crossed up high and away from their chest, which is a stereotypical way of showing Native men. It uses "princess" to describe her. There's problems with the accuracy, too. If you are interested in an essay about how she is depicted in children's books and the Disney film, too, see Cornel Pewewardy's The Pocahontas Paradox: A Cautionary Tale for Educators.

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