Socialism in a children’s book? Really?

Yes, that’s right folks. The Rainbow Fish by Marc Pfister. We got it from the library the other day because I remember seeing it all over Barnes and Noble. I figured it was popular for a reason, many kids must like it- so I checked it out for Ana.

I learned after only a few pages that I needed to change the words because I was not liking where this was going. It wasnt that it was saying awful things, it was just teaching an awful message through the parable of the rainbow fish. If I could rewrite it I would have the Rainbow Fish tell all those moochers to SCRAM and get their own pretty fins. Or tell them to look closer at themselves and they will see that God made them special too. Instead the book teaches kids that coveting someone else’s gifts/things etc., will most likely get you whatever they have because they will want to be your friend and eventually fall into line. Oh and it also says indirectly that being unique is lonely. BOLOGNA!

Below are some reviews from Amazon. Check them out and google it to see even more. AMAZING that this book was so advertised at Barnes and Noble and all over America. I think I know why though…..you know what I am hinting at if you watch ANY of Glenn Beck!

What do you think?

Here are some reviews of the book from Amazon.com.:

38 of 49 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Lessons for children, June 14, 2005
ByArt (Detroit, Michigan) – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

This book sets horrible examples and lessons for children. The Rainbow fish is ostracized by the other bratty fishes, until it finally gives up parts of its scaly self to these mean fishes just to be able to get along. I didn’t like it at all.

Reading the positive reviews and their “carping” (pun intended) about those who have left the serious reviews that point out these glaring problem, I think this book must have been made some kind of showcase item for people who think that the collective is superior to individuals.

I really think this book is bad for children’s self esteem. It doesn’t give a positive message such as we should respect people’s differences. It says to a kid that you should merge with all the others. There is no good reason for the Rainbow fish to rip off parts of his body to give to those other fishes who are mean to him. I mean they were the maladjusted ones, not the Rainbow Fish. Leave the Rainbow Fish alone!


40 of 52 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars At best, a missed opportunity. At worst, despicable., December 19, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

Rainbow Fish has beautiful scales and others don’t. This simple premise is ripe for many wonderful stories and valuable lessons (e.g., individuality, acceptance of others who are different, sharing, etc).Unfortunately, this book not only fails to produce such a story or lesson, but rather teaches us several undesirable lessons. And make no mistake — this book is not about sharing.

First, we are taught that we should simply ask others, who have more than we do, to give us something for nothing. And not just ask for “something” but ask for the very thing that makes the other person feel special about themselves and that which they value most in the world. Apparently, we have a right to what others have.

Second, we are taught that if someone asks you to give him something free of charge, we shouldn’t ask why but rather should just give it away — even if it is the very thing we prize most in this world.

Third, we should be appalled if someone scoffs at or refuses such a request to give us something free for no apparent reason. And we also learn that it is appropriate to ostracize such an individual. Indeed, we are taught that ostracism based on envy is perfectly appropriate.

Fourth, we should understand that others, who don’t have what we have, will ostracize us. If we want their friendship, we should give them what we have — even if it requires that we give away our most prized possession in the world. Only then can we have friends.

Fifth, we learn that we can indeed befriend someone if they give us what we want and ask for. Indeed, buying friends is perfectly appropriate.

Finally, we learn that being unique is wrong. We should all be the same — only then can we be happy.

This is the worst book I’m aware of (and I’m aware of many) that you could ever read to your child. Truly despicable. And parents take note: this is mandatory reading in some public schools.

40 of 52 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars This book fell below my expectations….., October 12, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

I had heard alot about the famous rainbow fish books and when I saw the 10th anniversary book out, I decided to buy it for my 2 year old. I happily sat down with her at bedtime to read her the story and I finished the book feeling not so happy about the book.
The rainbow fish is aesthetically, a very pleasing book, with it’s beautiful many hued fish and the shimmery shiny scales, but all the visual effects do not make for the rather unpleasant story line. Sharing is one thing, but when you have to give away the one thing that makes you unique in order to cultivate friends suggests that the only way friendship can be had is through purchase. The little fish asks a second time for a scale, even though he was refused the first time after which he alienated all the other fish from rainbow fish. What does the story say about small (minded, greedy) people who want what another has and when they don’t get it they go around poisoning everyones’ minds against the person? This story left a bad taste and I returned the book the very next day.


23 of 29 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars There are much better fish books in the sea!, June 4, 2001
By“bedtimestoryteller” (Milford, OH United States) – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

After receiving this book as a shower gift I read it and pitched it! It is a story about a fish that is beautiful (but vain) and lonely…so he buys some friends by giving away his beautiful, shining scales. Yes, there is the lesson about not thinking yourself so grand that you do not want to play with others, however that concept is quickly lost in the prose as the fish gives away all of his scales until he looks like the other fish. WHAT NEXT??? Are we going to have a book about a wise owl that acts stupid to gain friends? This book really reeks of assimilation at all costs, and that looking like others is the road to happiness!It is frightening to think that someone that creates television programming for children thought that this is a morality tale.

Beware!

34 of 44 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Mediocrity for the young reader, August 25, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

This is by far the worst book in my children’s home library. It is replete with destructive, anti-individuality themes centering around the story of a beautiful fish which is coerced by mobs of begging, greedy, mediocre fish and an ominous octopus into tearing off its body parts (scales) to appease its peers. It is absolutely disgusting. While many reviewers like the theme of “sharing” in this story, the reality is that for an extremely young audience, the analogy is completely inappropriate. Even a very small child knows that scales are necessary for a fish and part of its body. How many adulating reviews would there be if the protagonist were a child asked to mutilate himself by giving up his skin to win “friends”? Even putting aside this disturbing analogy in this story, the “lesson” of this story really is twofold: first, “friends” are friendly if they are bought, and second, one must never have more than anyone else or by extension, try to work harder or excell beyond one’s peers. Blend in, be part of the crowd, another sheep. I would encourage parents to avoid this garbage. The true nature of this book’s philosophy is accurately portrayed in Vonnegut’s short story, “Harrison Bergeron” which I highly reccomend.

203 of 275 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Celebration of Appeasement and Mediocrity, May 18, 2004
ByMichael Newman (Long Beach, CA USA) – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rainbow Fish (Hardcover)

We own this book only because my wife ordered it from a book club. Had we looked at the book, we never would have bought it. My two-year old has not seen it, nor will he. He has enough good books. And this book is bad. The book is so bad, destructive, immoral, and wrong that I have trouble figuring out where to start. Well, let’s start with the “moral(s)” of the book, which can be summed up as follows: (1) being special is evil, and worthy of hatred; (2) if you do not give your possessions away to others on their demand and pursuant to their coercion, you will be rightfully hated; (3) you will be happy only if you are mediocre; (4) you need to bribe people to be your friends. And the message here is not about sharing. Notice, the Rainbow Fish does not “share” his scales (sharing would imply that his friends were going to give the scales back when they are done.) No, the Rainbow Fish is compelled (by emotional coercion) to give away that which makes him special. What part of this story is supposed to be edifying? It is garbage.

Baby doll that does WHAT?!?

Did anyone else see GMA this morning?
Interesting story on the newest baby doll, the breast milk baby

I am going to weigh on the side of the fence that says it would do positive things for the “negative” opinion about breastfeeding thats out there and not say anything of the sort that it would be “a bad thing” for any child. Its funny to me how the report said that this baby encourages young girls to get pregnant and be sexually active…WHAT!?!?!? that is the biggest piece of BOLOGNA I have EVER heard.  If you want to go that route, then what ARE little girls exposed to in our culture that teaches them that their body is NOT just for sexual purposes? THANK YOU. At least this doll is giving these young gals something to have in common with their mommies who are taking care of their siblings. I belive that this doll would in fact promote breastfeeding into being a less “shamed” part of parenting.

So many people (who have not breastfed or had breastfeeding in their children’s lives) think its gross, improper, has no dignity, etc. To that I say- parenting is gross, parenting is improper at times, parenting has no dignity (espeically in labor) at times. Breastfeeding is something God made and is the most dignified thing we can do for our kids. Oh- and if you think its gross, you better not have kids cause A LOT MORE GROSS things happen when they are your own. Feeding them is certainly not something I would call “gross”.

Both of my girls have been breastfed- no bottle whatsoever, no not at all (even if i wanted…which i have tried…). And I am tired of getting looks from friends and family when I have to leave the room to feed Alexis, or when she spits up and they yell, “yuck its breastmilk” or even when they make comments like, “she has teeth. arent you done breastfeeding her” and “are you going to breastfeed until she goes to school?” Or even better- I make a bottle of breastmilk and they refuse to touch it because its breastmilk inside. SO SILLY AND RIDICULOUS! Motherhood is not for the weak- parenthood is not for those who wish to stay comfortable. AND breastfeeding if it can be accomplished, is something to be very proud of and applauded. It takes A LOT of sacrifice.

I will reinforce in my kids as they grow up that breastfeeding is what I did for them because I was able and felt passionate that it was the best option for them, regardless of the time, “dignity”, “grossness”, etc. that it took. Its one of the ways God gave me to love them, and I did it.

All this rise up within me as I watched the report. It revealed the truth about what america really thinks of breastfeeding (even though when you have a baby docs and hospitals pound it into your skull that its important). All of this to say……..
…..the breast milk baby may or may not be a doll that my children have, but I do not see it as any different as the baby dolls that come with bottles. And Hey, maybe it will teach a growing generation that breastfeeding is not something that people should GAWK at but rejoice in seeing a mom believe in.

Whew…..Hallelujah.

Hallelujah is right! For those who do not know, Alexis has been dreadfully ill over the past week. Today however, she is showing dramatic change in the positive direction. I made sure to take her in the sunshine today since it was so warm and sunny (unseasonably). She is smiling, laughing, playing, eating, sleeping almost normal amounts. Although these seem small they are huge accomplishments from where shew was.
She has RSV, a severe case of it that caused extreme dehydration. Poor lil Lexi was on fluids for 3 days before she perked up! We must give a shout out here the grandma in montana, Grama Honey- I sent her a picture of Lexi after we were discharged from the ER the first time and she immediately called me and told me to take her back. Believe it or not, they were ready to discharge us again and Daddy (Jason) refused to allow them to, along with our regular pediatrician who demanded we be kept overnight. 2 days later we were finally seeing a somewhat well baby. She probably wouldnt have been so well so quickly if it werent for the keen eye of the Honey.  🙂

All in all- a very trying event in our lives…in the wake of it I am realizing just how much it has affected me.  Having gone through all that with her has made me a different mother. When no one else was there in the wee hours of the morning and she was crying…and I had no help. Just me in a dark ICU room on the peds wing. That first night I had an awful nurse, and all they seemed to do to her was interrupt her times of calmness to get her wound up again. Bedside manner- she had none that was genuine.  Anyway, when we were finally moved into a more comfortable situation I had 2-3 hours of sleep (in 36 hours maybe more) in a crib. Yes, a crib- because they didnt have anything else for me, so I climbed into the hospital grade crib with Lexi to comfort her. Brings tears to my eyes… that night was the most miserable and guilt-laden night of my life. She was so sick. An experience like this cannot leave you without changing you. It made me a stronger mom, more patient mom, more outspoken mom, and more trusting mom.  The holy spirit infused me with endurance and breathed life back into Lexi’s frail body. Above all it made me a grateful mom and really shook up my priorities list.

Outside of all of this I missed Ana and Jason terribly, as we only saw them as much as we could. Jason was very busy trying to balance caring for all of his girls and not getting too far behind with work. He was amazing and strong for all of us too. Ana was super good for all who watched her. Bless her heart, she is still on a prescription for her ear infections that we discovered just a few days before Lexi was diagnosed! She’s a trooper though….and she’s two. Not much can stop a 2 year old. Ha ha, you would never know she was ever sick. That silly girl is 100% back to normal!

Today is Ana’s birthday! So crazy to think that she is already 2, but still crazy to think that it was only 2 years ago she was born. Feels like so much of life has gone by in that short span of time.  We made her feel special today with a trip to the farm at Biltmore Estate (thx mom for the season passes love you), smiley face whipped cream pancakes, and cupcakes decorated by her later on. She had a great time playing with some new toys and petting all the animals today.

Whew. After going through it all, whew. After recanting it here, whew. God knew what he was doing through the timing of all the events in the past week: we had a bright light at the end, Ana Claire’s life celebration of being 2. YAY.

Thank you to everyone and all that prayed for us. Jason and I both could tell you the exact moment when those prayers started to work. Lets just say it wasnt long after we got to the ER saturday night!

“Oooda-lolly oooda-lolly golly whata day(s)…”

thanks for the song, dear rooster of robin hood. Anyone remember his name?

It certainly has been more than “a day” though. Seems a respiratory bug from the cruise liner mom and dad rode at the end of February bit them and then came after my kiddos. Ana was first with a slight cough…then boogies….then two ear infections. Thought Lexi was teething…then the vomiting came…RSV. Couple this with a husband who got food poisoning (ouch) and a dog who started itching again just 10 weeks after ending his (very expensive) medicine that was supposed to take care of the problem. Ugh. Not complaining, but just taking a look back to remind myself I have made it this far. To keep going is not nearly as difficult as it feels! I believe tomorrow will begin the day where there is a noticeable difference in everyone. I could tell definite in all those sick in the house today, but tomorrow…tomorrow is going to be even better. Hallelujah.

In my sleep deprived state (currently) I am noticing a lack of brain functioning. ha ha. No seriously though- on the way home I felt myself not really paying attention to what I was doing (driving)…not safe. SO not safe, I swerved off the road and got some of the shoulder. IF it were just me in our Ford Focus I wouldnt care much, but it was the cadillac with the girlies snoozing in the back seat. Talk about making your heart leap into your chest. I cant imagine what I would do if i ever wrecked with them in the car. Grace is given as needed though I know.

The last thing I want to do at this moment is go up stairs and ask the neighbors to quit running up and down and jumping….and wrestling….but I just may have to go pay them an unfriendly visit. I have done all I know how to do, even praying for them. I want to be able to just ignore it but it often wakes up either Ana or Lexi so it prompts my “momma bear claws”. Good news though- Jason and I prayed and decided that at the end of March we would make a final decision about whether or not we are moving…its the end of March in just a few days! Although we do not want to move, (and if we had decent upstairs neighbors we probably wouldnt) we feel that it is the best option for us for the long term. Soon and very soon we will KNOW! YAY. Lets just say I went over our lease today and pulled out the 60-day notice form.  🙂

Has anyone else noticed the CRAZY amount of talent on this season’s American Idol?!?!? I actually thought there were more talented people they cut out too! Who do you say is the winner? or at least in the top 3?

 

Until next time (must go get neighbors….)-

GOODWILL to Sarah

I have always tried to find “treasures” at goodwill or thrift stores. Not antiques or anything worth money, but home decor, clothes, furniture, toys, etc. that are in good condition. WELL- I live close enough to a Goodwill store that I could walk. This part of Asheville tends to have some pockets of money and big houses, so often times you can find things at this Goodwill that are really REALLY a treasure. My sister Rachael is the Goodwill QUEEN. She is super “city” as someone said once, haha, meaning that she is very trendy, well dressed, in tune with style and glamour, and somehow someway she finds these clothes at Goodwill that are DESIGNER NAMES and BARELY WORN! It blows my mind seriously.

I have looked before, several times, and didnt find anything. So I tried my hand at it again with Ana one day while Jason was home and Lexi was sleeping. Ana was a bit crazy in the store, but I felt like I did good. I found a nice shirt from Forever21 that as really dressy and trendy, very little wear to it. I also found a skirt that was blue red and white plaid that is going to be cute in summer. Spent $13 (only cause the old lady at the register said the long shirt was a dress…..silly old lady).  The next day Rachael comes by with her treasures: JCREW sweaters, Ann Taylor cardigans WITH TAGS, DOnna Karen skirts, etc. It made me SICK! Immediately i started asking her how to find these great pieces and if she would just go with me. I thought maybe she knew the secret places in the store where they put out these clothes of awesomeness….

We went on Thursday, this time I went without any kids (thanks to Jason) cause Rach said you really have to pilfer through the rubble. SOOOOOOOO I dont even have words to say right here……THE CLOTHES I FOUND ARE RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME AND FIT PERFECT! I am SO SHOCKED AND AMAZED. I may NEVER BUY NEW CLOTHES AGAIN!
I found a pair of designer jeans (fit like a glove so comfy and like new!), a pair of dress pants WITH TAGS originally $89.99 from Cache, JCREW cardigan and tank set, button sweater- very trendy- WITH TAGS, gap shirt with embroidered design, a dressy skirt, 2 more sweater/jackets/shirts NEVER WORN, a nice shirt from New York and CO, a paisely print tank, a white embroidered dressy tank, and a couple more items. All of them looked like they were maybe worn once or NOT at all! As i said, a couple had the tags on them still! And my total- this is the kicker…….$60. That includes tax. YAAAAHOOOOO and you can also return anything with a receipt! HA! I think I calculated my average cost per item to be $5.

The crazier thing about all of this too- 1 sweater was too big, but the rest fit me LIKE IT WAS MADE FOR ME! SO crazy! This is a feat for any woman, but especially one that just had a baby 5 months ago and who is really difficult to comfortably clothe. PLUS I have no buyers remorse. 🙂

All I can say is- come to the Goodwill on Hendersonville Rd in Asheville. ITS WORTH IT! I will be going back that is FO SURE! I may just replace my wardrobe….do a trade you know? lol

Not skipping this BLOG!

Just finished rocking Lexi to sleep….drift off while holding her….so tired…but no tired enough to skip out on blogging! I was brainstorming all of the things I wanted to say here and then slowly got too cozy while rocking her….

ANYWHOOOS—>great story to tell you about dear Ana Claire. She loves Taylor Swifts song thats oober popular right now…not sure what its called, but it goes like, “i remember how we felt sitting by the water, you put your arm around me for the first time…”etc. I have the CD and its #1 so it plays often. She likes it so much that she will shout ME ME ME when I touch the radio to find a station or a song i like. If i dont land on her song, so will continue with the ME ME ME thing trying to get me to turn it to HER song. ha ha ha. As soon as I did yesterday, she started bobbing her head up and down, passy in mouth, and looking out the window. It was naptime, and we were leaving Papa and Gaga’s house to go be at home for nap. I thought i would have to play the song a time or two and then she would be snoozing. Each time the song ended she would remind me with her ME ME ME alarm and i would skip it back. At the start of the 3rd round she had her eyes closed and told me ME ME ME and when the song started she laid her head back in her car seat and bobbed it a little slower, but nonetheless keeping the beat. Ha. At this point she stopped requesting the song be played over and over, but every few minutes I would look in my rearview mirror to see her bobbing her head in her sleep! So funny. We got home and I opened her door to carry her in to bed and she was bobbing her head the whole time I was unbuckling the seatbelt. What a character that lil lady. I have found that her and Jason share 2 main things very different from me (and Lexi)- their weird sleeping (talking , movements and noises, etc while sleeping) and an affinity for walking around the house in tighty whities.  Yes folks, drop in anytime but be sure and call if its prior to 10am. 🙂

Something I thought of while rocking Lexi tonight, on a more serious note; she was wrapped in a receiving blanket that is a bit too small and her feet were hanging out. Both my girls have had trouble with this as they have been CRAZY long kids. Poor cold feet. As I was trying to stretch the blanket as best I could I thought I would just go get a heavier one  that was bigger cause she was cold too. Those receiving blankets are pretty thin. As I said this in my head it occurred to me how blessed we are to have that option. To be able to say, oh i will just go get another blanket that is warmer and bigger for her” seems so insignificant to me, to us. But something stopped me this time, the holy spirit i guess, cause right then I thanked God that He has blessed us with such abundance that I have the option to just go get another blanket. And have it be a clean one too. I looked at Lexi and thought about all the children around the world who may be cold tonight, and said some prayers. Cant help but get teary thinking of a child shivering while mom holds them and as best she can tries to keep them warm. Makes me want to do something about it. I HATE having such deep compassion and empathy and not doing something about it.
I was thinking I would at least go through all the baby stuff I have and get rid of a bunch and donate it to the crisis pregnancy care center here in Asheville. The thought even crossed my mind to volunteer out there sometime. I assure you one day I will.

 

Sitting in my living room, all is quiet, and its nice. I am still wondering though how I have the same pot and pan from last nights dinner dirty in the sink after two loads of dishes today. Hmmmm. Note to self: use different pans once in a while so that it feels like you actually did do what you did today. 🙂

Mayfield’s Birthday

Mayfield…Caleb Mayfield that is. He is 24 today! YAY for being 1 year older. We are so blessed to have a friend in Caleb. He makes killer popcorn and is very sweet to Ana and Lexi, so we like him.

Best wishes to Caleb!

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