Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Catching 'em young

Very Small Person from Chicago (VSPC): Veena aunty, do you like stories?

Moi: Yes, I do.

VSPC: Do you know the ugly duckling story?

Moi: Yeah

VSPC: What about the frog prince?

Moi: I know that too

VSPC: I have many more stories in my book. See.

Promptly pulls out some picture fairy tale book and thrusts it at me.

Moi: But I know all these stories

VSPC: All of them?

Moi: Yes, all of them

VSPC: I know Bible stories. Do you know Bible stories?

Moi: Hmm, I don't. Can you tell me one?

VSPC: Yes, I know two Bible stories. I can tell you. They are not like ugly ducking and frog prince.

Moi: Why not?

Looks around to see if her mom is around. No. Safe.

VSPC: Because they are real. My mommy doesn't think so but they are real.


Space Bar said...

no kidding! and which stories did she mean, exactly?

Cheshire Cat said...

You didn't dispel her illusions, I hope, poor thing. It might be the sordid truth that we are descended from apes, but at the very least, we can shield innocent children from this truth. Frankly, I just think the world would be more interesting if it had magically come into being in 4223 B.C.

Veena said...

SB: One of them is about Jesus rising from somewhere. She woke up on Easter morning and made us all listen to story

Cat: Of course I did. Immediately started telling her Skallman (Bamse's cool friend) stories. Now to get hold of them in English.

Actually now that I have both of you here, question: what are good kiddie books that can wean kids away from such nonsense and get them to buy into well, atheist propaganda and other such cool stuff?

Ludwig said...

Gaze ye upon this and tremble.

Googling "evolution for kids" throws up several interesting links that might be useful, this one for starters?

Other than that, I'm sure there are ways to atheistify them, but if you're not the parent (Are you? You haven't quietly gone off somewhere and spawned, have you? Bad girl!), you'll just have to do under-the-radar things (not sure what, though). Like break some inane commandment and say, "Look nothing happened to me!" or something...

The more I think of it, this is a most interesting question. Ponder upon this, we must.

blackmamba said...

(I know we are NOT talking and all... but)

I must say Larry Gonick is your man.

Veena said...

Luddo: That chap is right. We need to do sthgn abt it. It is child abuse. To hell with free speech.

Yeah, it does get difficult when you are not the parent. I try to con as many nephews and nieces as possible whenever I go home but the moment I get back here, evil cousins are getting their kids to take kavadi at the local temple. That's how bad it gets.

And dude, I name the pinkie triplet after you and you dare to ask if I have quietly gone away and spawned?!

BM: Since we are not five anymore, we shall talk this time. Just this time though.

This Larry Gontick seems good. Should look up the books up in the local lib. Though if the kid is over 10, I would just give it Childrens Knowledge Bank instead of picture books and comics. If it got me enthu about science, it should work for most kids.

(Plus it has the added benefit of finding the right people to hand out with. Did I ever tell you that Bill and I decided that we wanted to hang out with each other right after we realised that when we were 11, we both sent Rs 15 DDs to Pustak Mahal asking them to send us the next volume of the Knowledge Bank as they weren't available in our local bookstores? And needless to say, we both looked down in disdain at the kids with glossy picture books such as Tell Me Why)

Fëanor said...

You didn't like the Tell Me Why series? Why not? Why not? I feel so abused now...

Btw, if not English, some of the Bamse stuff has been translated into Finnish, Danish, Dutch, Slovak, Polish, Romanian and Russian. There you go - can't say I'm not helpful :-)

Veena said...

Feanor: Because they are glossy picture books meant for kids with no reading skills. And they dumb it down and condescend too much. Well, that and the fact that I couldn't afford it then. My book allowance for a month was 35 rupees (25 at bookstores and 10 at libraries), so I might have had to forgo books for years to get my hands on one of those.

Thank you. Not that I know any of those languages, but this is good reason to learn. Also, did you know that they are considering translating Bamse to Mallu? Can't wait.

Fëanor said...

Wow, you had a monthly book budget? Crap, I knew I was getting a raw deal growing up - I just couldn't put my finger on exactly how.

Malloo?! Not that that will help - I can't read it, and can barely even speak it without causing my parents to blench.

Anonymous said...

Feanor: Ah! Blench. For a moment there I thought it was a portmanteau, you know blanch and belch. Then googleji informed me it was a word and only means to turn pale. Such regret for the missed eructation.