What is more educational for kids: A book chosen based on its quality or to please a librarian’s own race-based ideology?

Bambi just read in Le Devoir an article entitled “Des titres jeunesse trop blancs pour les bibliothèques scolaires” [Youth titles too white for school libraries”].

Here is the original French article:

https://www.ledevoir.com/lire/649755/diversite-des-titres-jeunesse-trop-blancs-pour-les-bibliotheques-scolaires .

Here is an English translation (thank you Google Translate!): shorturl.at/szMR6 .

Why is the Québec’s ’”Association pour la promotion des services documentaires scolaires (APSDS)” resorting to this now?

Since Bambi is usually an optimistic deer in life, she cannot help not to tell herself that this may be less shocking than Ontario schools’ book burning (as per an older post further below)!

OK, more seriously now, what matters the most in life? The literacy quality of books (e.g., language or of other educational standards) OR an apparent obsession with a race-based ideology?

You may not agree with Bambi at all (or think she comes from planet Saturn), but here are some questions she has for those librarians:

Why don’t we keep allowing children to explore books’ characters, to let their own imagination grow while reading, and simply perhaps find themselves in the humanity of the characters? Why should we become obsessed with skin hue?

Characters or heros may have this or that look, be from this ethnolinguistic background or another one. They could be locals from a small town or from a metropolis’ suburb. They could be newborns or seniors, adolescents from Chicoutimi, Saint-Faustin, or Oka. Blond or darker men. A veiled mother, a boy with a kippa, or a soccer player in another country. Whatever. They could be from Québec city and make a child dream of a political career. Who knows? Maybe non-humans from the moon and make a kid dream about space? This being said, even if children’s book characters look like a majority of the residents in a certain place (small towns of regional/rural areas), why is this problematic all of a sudden?

To conclude this post, how about a silly, personal example, followed by a song? Well, Bambi is a (relatively) small deer. Should she only read books about dwarf deer with curly hair (to recognize herself in the book’s character, as mentioned in the article above)? Can’t she be inspired by a hero who happens to be a tall man from the Netherlands, for instance? OK, enough of questions for tonight… Time for a song for books now :)!

One thought on “What is more educational for kids: A book chosen based on its quality or to please a librarian’s own race-based ideology?”

  1. I agree, let children be drawn to whatever they are drawn to. Let them engage with the stories they love to engage with. Of course every library has to select in some way, there’s not enough space for every children’s book of the world and of all times. And the books should of course be age appropriate. But other than that, I believe that children might have a better sense for stories which help their spirits grow and expand their understanding of the world than some adults who want to decide for them based on their ideological framing of how things should be.

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