All Hail the Puppy

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 11.47.43 AMAuthor Gabriel Roth recently gave a “smartest guy in grad school” take-down of children’s read-aloud stories on Slate. First he condemned books such as Doc McStuffins as “garbage,” “worthless,” and “subliterary commodities.” Then he turned his critical eye on a different class of books, those that “exert an irresistible pull on adult consciousness but don’t reward it. They are malign presences on the bookshelf. They hurt.” What books are these, you ask? Janette Sebring Lowery’s The Poky Little Puppy (Little Golden Books; OverDrive Sample) is the central offender, causing Roth to wonder if Lowery “had no point in mind, was unconcerned with the ethics or pragmatics of pokiness, hoped only to borrow the fable form, with its weighty theme and didactic tone, and use it to disguise her lack of moral vision?”

Instead of ignoring Roth, Emily Temple, over at Flavorwire, decided to go one better and offer a list of “boring, or lame, or morally questionable kids’ books” and suggestions for replacements. Topping her list of books to ditch is, of course, The Poky Little Puppy. She suggests instead, Chris Van Allsburg’s The Sweetest Fig, (HMH, 1993)

Which book is moved up Amazon’s sales rankings, You guessed it, The Poky Little Puppy is currently #46 and rising.

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