I try to be ever so careful to read through the selections that the children pick at the library but a small book slipped in under the radar and one night the children picked the book for their Daddy to read….the book is entitled And My Mean Old Mother Will Be Sorry, Blackboard Bear by Martha Alexander.
I was in another room when dh started reading it and I could hear him make several pauses and then he abruptly ended his reading of the book and sent it to me via ds. I read through it and was quite appalled. It is my understanding that the book is a part of a series wherein a little boy decides to create a friend (blackboard bear) after he tires of his mother yelling at him and he has many adventures with the bear. In this particular book, the boy basically runs away only to discover that the world is not as he thought and he does return home; however, upon his arrival at home he addresses his teddy bear which is on the ground outside of his window. The book ends with him telling his teddy bear that he loves him.
This book irritated me on several levels:
1) the title – mean old mother
2) he runs away
3) he returns home and only expresses love to his teddy bear
4) no apology/love to his mother
5) no mention of her whatsoever once he leaves the house
Could you use it as a teaching moment in that children shouldn’t disobey, parents shouldn’t yell, we all need grace, running away from home is not a great idea, and apologies are necessary in life…yes, but honestly what are children more likely to remember – that the mom yelled, the boy ran away and he loves his bears (blackboard and teddy).
The book is being returned to the library tomorrow and it is definitely not on my book recommendation list.