Please, Dad! Please read the one where the plague victim gets caught in the hurricane and is crushed by a tree…
From the ever-illuminating Ten Zen Monkeys, “The Most Depressing Children’s Books Ever Written“… Consider, for example, #5:
Andrea Patel, a Massachusetts schoolteacher– and pastry chef, and musician– represents the earth as a big blue circle of tissue paper, then writes “One day a terrible thing happened,” as a big red splotch appears on that circle.
“The world, which had been blue and green and bright and very big and really round and pretty peaceful, got badly hurt.
“Many people were injured. Many other people died. And everyone was sad.”
Then she tries explaining terrorism to children — using more tissue paper collages. There’s a tornado, an earthquake, and a fire — all bad things that happen naturally. “But sometimes bad things happen because people act in mean ways and hurt each other on purpose,” she writes. “That’s what happened on that day, a day when it felt like the world broke.” Then there’s a picture of the pieces of the world blowing away and drifting across the blank whiteness of the next page…
The book was finished within weeks of the September 11 attacks, and Patel donated all the book’s proceeds to a 9/11 charity, but the whole exercise is still a little disturbing. People fumbled for the right response to the terrorist attacks, and in the end, this is probably Patel’s most inadvertently honest sentence.
“This is scary, and hard to understand, even for grown-ups.”
One should steel oneself, then find them all here.
As wonder whatever became of Tom Terrific, we might recall that it was on this date in 1584 that Sir Walter Raleigh was granted a Royal Patent by his Patron Elizabeth I to colonize Virginia.