Kiddie Lit Ain’t No Joke

Dear Austin [Vice President, Sales & Marketing; Fayetteville Woodpeckers]:

Social media informed me that Victoria Huggins [Manager, Community & Relations; Fayetteville Woodpeckers] was out and about reading to children at local elementary schools. While this is very commendable, does Victoria realize that over half of these children will probably not like to read by time they are in seventh grade thanks to a failing public school system that makes reading a chore instead of a pleasure?

And while Victoria certainly was not torturing children today by reading to them, I strongly object to her choice of reading material, The Owl and the Woodpecker, by Brian Wildsmith. This is a take about two natural enemies that cannot get along because of each other’s selfishness, and then one day the Woodpecker saves the owl because it suddenly decides to disobey the laws of nature to save its natural enemy. What is this feel good propaganda that Victoria is passing off to these unsuspecting children?

When your enemy is down, you don’t save it because not might come back and eat you. That is the way nature works, man — survival the fittest, not some kumbaya stuff about coming together to work as a team, village, or trade union. Don’t lecture me about the author using personification to paint some greater metaphor that developing cognition can grasp. The laws of nature do not recognize chivalry; they acknowledge survival.

I bet you guys did not know Wildsmith wrote a book called The Little Wood Duck, which is some fucked up Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer bullshit where deformities are the targets of derision until the deformity saves the say. The Little Wood Duck’s own mother is cruel to him because he has one webbed foot larger than the other. If Victoria wants to motivate children to read, she should choose more relevant authors than dead British guys who can paint. Whatever the case, she should not have chosen some ridiculous tale of natural enemies bonding. What is next? Wolves making love to sheep?

If Victoria had wanted to tell a tale of different creatures overcoming their differences to solve a problem for the greater good, perhaps she should have used a story about sport rivals overcoming ingrained prejudices built upon the color of laundry. Why she could have even used the fierce rivals the Woodies and the ‘Peckers as an example.

Do ‘Pecker parents really want their children to be helping strange Woodies? Of course not. Those Woodies might be diseased. When you see a Woodie on the road, you let it wither, lest it come back and try to knock on your back door. The Woodie parents think the same way — who knows if that ‘Pecker is not bent the wrong way? Sometimes a Woodie and a ‘Pecker might have a beer together, fall into a forbidden love, and have children out of wedlock, and nothing good comes from this because of societal taboos.

Victoria could have told a tale of the Woodies and the ‘Peckers working together in a time of need – perhaps Mr. Celery could have been leading a marauding band of invaders from Delaware, and the Woodies and the ‘Peckers had to defeat a common foe to save themselves, and while doing that, both parties learned that the two groups were not really different – except for the Wood Ducks being incredible slobs.

Austin, I bet you are thinking, “How could have Victoria read a story like that? It has not been written yet.” Well, you are correct because kiddie lit is not really my bag. However, Victoria could have had the students write their own stories and draw their own illustrations, creating their own story about the Woodies and the ‘Peckers coming together. Victoria could have still done her reading gig when she modeled stories so those little cherubs had a FOUNDATION TO CREATE, and could have been climbing the ladder of Bloom’s Taxonomy to synthesis. Or they just could have eaten paste like those little boogers are known to do.

Your friend in baseball,


PS: The Winston Salem Dash are laughing at your promotion schedule. LAUGHING.

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