Monday, December 03, 2007

Skoolastic Book Edjukashon Faire

I have a six year old daughter.
We do not have cable TV, but we do let her watch selected shows or movies via DVD or download (have I mentioned my Kipper attraction?).
Supergirl has friends that are allowed to watch that 'Hannah....ummm....Indiana' thing and then some, and that is fine. For their kids. For ours?
Supergirl is six. She goes to a school that does not tolerate bullying in any way. That show? Introduces bullying and nastiness created by preteens; the sort that I would say HELL NOWAY to my kiddo watching.
She does go to a public school. This public school is well loved by many families, ours included. This school shines above many other neighboring schools in our county. However, our public school is no different from any other in its promotion of: The Skoolastic Book Un-Fair.
You know of what I speak?

This morning at school, my daughter was greeted by a sixth grader dressed up as big, fuzzy, friendly, red, klifford-the-dog.
This afternoon, she came home with her 'wish list'.
What, you ask, is a 'wish list'?
Well, it is basically a shameless slip of marketing paper, direct from Skoolastic; handed to your child as they walk in to their gymnasium (which has been transformed into a glossy, poster, character, toy, and yes book - filled room); and the little ones are accompanied by an aide, who can help them write down their 'favorite' books.

What is on my daughter's wish list?
  1. Littlest pet shoppy thingie BOOK!
  2. Hannah-freaking-Indiana BOOK! (b/c if mama won't allow the video, reading it must be OK, right???)
  3. High Skool Moosical?????? BOOK! (really? something she never ever heard of before? now that is some successful marketing!)
  4. Another Little pet bobble head thingie BOOK.
  5. Proper Puppy Care (the first and only non-commercial book listed)

So, when they asked me to work at the 'Faire', I had to say are you fucking kidding me? that I was very busy with work this week. Which, thank goodness, I am!


mamadaisy said...

my 5 year old has learned to play the games on they are all non-violent, educational, practicing spelling and hand-eye coordination, etc, blah blah blah.

daddy showed him the disney website and then walked out of the room. 5 minutes later my kid is playing a Power Rangers game where he is flying through the air on a dragon shooting fireballs at villagers on the ground.

now he wants everything Power Rangers and he wants to blow up the world. thanks a pantload, disney.

Heather said...

I have fond recollections of the Scholastic Book Fair from my elementary days (late 1980) - a twice-yearly book orgy where I could stock up on the latest Sachar or Spinelli or Danziger, and fill in the gaps left by an underfunded school library. It wasn't always a disgusting marketing-fest, but I'm not entirely surprised that that is what it has become. There didn't used to be television and soft drinks at school either. Of course, there did used to be spanking and segregation, so I guess you take the good with the bad?

Cindy said...

Yuck. This is part of why our public school "fired" Scholastics Books. Instead we got a small independent bookstore to donate 20% of proceeds from anyone who buys books and says they want to support our school. We're happy about where our business is going and happy to not have our kids exposed to such over-marketed crap.

The Morts changed the date of their holiday party. Can you make it? Would love to see you, DH, and the kids.

gwendomama said...

i love love love that idea.

we are looking into that w/ bookshop santa cruz. i just don't know how a school can go to great lengths to avoid bullying and then sell 70% of the books at its bookfair as commercial drek.


Mrs. Who said...

Elementary school librarian here to defend book fairs!! Yes, they do have a lot of the books based on tv and movies and yes, they do have some crappy toys and stuff. But.

1. The kids that buy those silly books are READING which lead to more READING which may possibly make them actually like READING because they are reading something they enjoy. We all read some silly books when we were young, didn't we?

2. We do sell a lot of toys and posters, but we sell a lot of books too. And the profit from the book fair? Used to buy more books for the library.

3. The kids LOVE the book fair. They love the library. They love the librarian. It's a fun, positive experience that, in their heads tells them books+library=fun (i.e. a great place to be).