Should We Burn Babar? (Paperback)

Essays on Children's Literature and the Power of Stories

By Herbert R. Kohl, Jack David Zipes (Introduction by)

New Press, 9781595581303, 224pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2007

List Price: 14.95*
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Description

In "provocative and entertaining essays that] will appeal to reflective readers, parents, and educators" (Library Journal), one of the country's foremost education writers looks at the stories we tell our children. Available now in a revised edition, including a new essay on the importance of "stoop-sitting" and storytelling, Should We Burn Babar? challenges some of the chestnuts of children's literature. Highlighting instances of racism, sexism, and condescension that detract from the tales being told, Kohl provides strategies for detecting bias in stories written for young people and suggests ways to teach kids to think critically about what they read.

Beginning with the title essay on Babar the elephant--"just one of a fine series of inquiries into the power children's books have to shape cultural attitudes," according to Elliott Bay Booknotes--the book includes essays on Pinocchio, the history of progressive education, and a call for the writing of more radical children's literature. As the Hungry Mind Review concluded, "Kohl's prescriptions for renewing our schools through the use of stories and storytelling are impassioned, well-reasoned, and readable."



About the Author

Herbert Kohl is a celebrated writer, teacher, and advocate. He is the author of more than forty books, including "I Won't Learn from You" And Other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment, Should We Burn Babar?: Essays on Children's Literature and the Power of Stories, The Discipline of Hope: Learning from a Lifetime of Teaching, Stupidity and Tears: Teaching and Learning in Troubled Times, She Would Not Be Moved: How We Tell the Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and The Herb Kohl Reader: Awakening the Heart of Teaching (all published by The New Press), as well as the bestselling classic 36 Children. He is a co-author, with Judith Kohl, of The View from the Oak: The Private Worlds of Other Creatures and a co-editor, with Tom Oppenheim, of The Muses Go to School: Inspiring Stories About the Importance of Arts in Education, both published by The New Press. A recipient of a National Book Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, he was the founder and first director of the Teachers and Writers Collaborative in New York City, has served as a senior fellow at the Open Society Institute, and established the PEN West Center. In 2010, Kohl was named a Guggenheim Fellow in education. He lives in Point Arena, California.