100– Why Mommy Is A Democrat

This is my 100th post to The Thin Red Line. Another milestone, and I’m not quite able to repress expressing a small burst of pride at how far I have come with this blog since I began June 1st.

Today’s blog post is about a book that is frequently advertised right here on this blog and may very possibly be advertised on the page now as you are reading this.

Having seen the ad a zillion times I finally got around to looking it up in the library catalog and found that it was available from a nearby branch. I clicked on place hold and scanned by library card and a short time later a Very Thin trade paperback, which the librarians I work for had classified as an Easy Picture book, appeared in my mailbox at work.

My first instinct was to pan it. First, the trade paperback format is rarely used for Easy Picture books (for pre-schoolers and the youngest readers, Easy Picture books are most often read aloud by an adult to a child, the illustrations helping the child to build vocabulary and also carrying a great deal of the narrative burden since it’s hard to convey a lot of complex information at an “Easy” reading level). Books that are for children are usually very well constructed hardcovers for the good reason that our littlest readers tend to be physically very tough on books and even with a good parent taking the time to teach about taking care of one’s things an easily destroyed book you spent ten bucks for + pre-schoolers = Not a Good Idea.

I recently had a very interesting conversation with a reference librarian at work and became a bit more aware of the degree to which the way books are classified and presented at the library is ultimately an entirely subjective assessment by the collection management librarian who made the decision to include it in the collection, and sometimes good librarians profoundly and respectfully disagree about a particular work and make very different decisions about how a particular title should be classified and presented.

A number of librarians, as well as many other people who read and examined Why Mommy Is A Democrat, felt that it was not an Easy Picture book for children at all, but a piece of political propaganda and shelved it not in the children’s section but in the adult non-fiction stacks in the 300’s with other books that are regarded primarily as political propaganda rather than works of art.

To me this title appears to be a self published, mid quality political pamphlet that explains the core principles of the Democratic Party as a series of things a good mommy does, presented using a generalized animal mommy and her children. I really intensely disliked this primarily because I believe strongly that the core principles this book purports to address are significantly more complex than could possibly be presented at the Easy reading level. I am further disturbed that this portrayal of those principles seems almost perfectly designed to cast Democrats as The Mommy Party That Can’t Be Trusted At The Macho Levers of Power in a way political opponents will use against Democrats very effectively.

As you know, I am vehemently opposed to censorship and I definitely think this is a book that belongs in every library in the United States. The folks who worry about liberals and Democrats wanting to brain wash their children might be surprised to know that I agree with the librarians who sent this one to the 300’s as political propaganda rather than the ones who actually put it out for the children to read.

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