Skippyjon Jones books - stereotypes
OTOH,We live really close to the border and even the most socially conscious parents seem to buy them. So I wondered if I was being oversensitive.
We only have one and it was bday gift from a preschool mom who is also a teacher in a Hispanic neighborhood.
So I don't know. I have a tendency to be oversensitive.
As for the stereotypes, I saw it as a child's very active imagination. I really thought complaints around this series would center around how skippy's always in trouble and sent to his room. Her newest skippy john book, Lost in Spice, tries to minimize both issues, with a gentler mama and a different approach to the spanish language phrases. I actually like it the least, because it seems the most forced of the books.
We shouldn't be so "sensitive" that we can no longer be real and enjoy things, especially our differences.
I don't see how they are insulting. But maybe I am wrong. Can you point to something specific that would be offensive?
i have mixed feelings about the books. on one hand, they are fun and imaginative, but there is something that doesn't feel quite right to me.
Its the mock mexican accent and fake spanish (english word ending in -ito, etc)i think that makes me a little uneasy.
I'm still thinking about it. thanks for posting, op!
I'll admit that my husband is pretty hard to offend and that I'm a big Skippy fan. First book I ever bought my DD 6.5 years ago.
You mentioned you have latino friends. Could you ask them? This isn't a black and white issue, some ppl will be offended and some people won't. The best you can do is listen to your gut and get input from people you trust.
We have Latino friends and I'd be embarassed if she read these books to them. Are there any Latina moms here who can give me some perspective?
Anyway... last year, our parents were responsible for organizing and planning our Dr. Seuss Literature Night. The book they choose for the main read aloud, in which our principal reads to each class, was a Skippyjon Jones book!
Additionally, my bilingual partner teacher's favorite read alouds are all of the Skippyjon Jones books. She is Mexican, married to a Cuban and very embedded in our community. She is often disgusted by my Skippyjon Jones read aloud because I absolutely suck at the accent and frequently mispronounce the Spanish words.
My students love those books and they LOVE to help me with the spanish words and pronunciations!!!
Yes, these books are racist as can be. The "Mock Spanish" of the "banditos" (which isn't Spanish at all, but a ridiculous stereotypical English speaker's idea of what Mexicans sound like) is the equivalent of the "jive" of the crows in Dumbo. It plays on the worst stereotypes of Mexico. Defenders of the book will say what defenders of racism always say - that its not meant to be racist (so what?), that its just "fun" (like so many racist images from the old Tarzan movies), that those who are offended should just get a sense of humor. Why is having dogs act like foreigners speaking buffoonish gibberish funny? Why not actually have them speak Spanish instead of English with "ito" or "o" at the end, or other non-Spanish phrases that non-Spanish speakers say when they are pretending to be stupid, like "no problema?"
For an article on the phenomenon of "mock Spanish," look up anthropologist Jane Hill.