Better Read than Red

The Washington Post reviews Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature, edited by Julia Mickenberg and Philip Nel. Check out the artwork from the book here or the review here.

To wit, from “Pioneer Mother Goose” (1934):

This bloated Pig masters Wall Street,
This little Pig owns your home;
This war-crazed Pig had your brother killed,
And this greedy Pig shouts “More!”
This Pig in Congress shouts “War, War!”
All the day long.

These Pigs we’ll send to market —
And will they squeal? You bet!
Down with Capitalism!
Long live the Soviet!

As over the top as that seems now, Mickenberg and Nel remind us how politically radical some of the most-beloved children’s books are. So grab an innocent child and a copy of Munro Leaf’s Ferdinand (or Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who, The Lorax, The Grinch and The Butter Battle Book, or even Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales) and feel the pro-war, anti-minority, anti-environment, pro-materialism, pro-nuclear, pro-fairytale establishment crumble!

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