or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › What is your opinion on "fluff" books?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is your opinion on "fluff" books? - Page 7

post #121 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post

I'm not sure what books you're referring too that don't stretch the child's mind - so I'll mention the few I've seen as "fluff" here from other posters. disney books? those are classic fairytale literature with mostly mild variances from the original text.
Our definitions of "mild variances" must obviously be at variance. Mildly.

Disney ending of Snow White:
*Dwarves push rock off cliff, rock falls on evil queen

Real ending of Snow White:
*Queen goes to Snow White's wedding and is forced to wear red-hot iron shoes and dance until she dies.

Disney ending of Cinderella:
Cinderella and the prince live happily ever after.

Real ending of Cinderella:

Stepsisters cut off toes and heels, respectively, to fit into shoe. Tattletale doves rat them out, then peck out their eyes on the way to and from the wedding.

Disney ending of The Little Mermaid:
Ariel and the prince live happily ever after.

Real ending of The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid dies.
Quote:

If my 6 year old or 3 year old want to read a disney book at bedtime, I don't think I'm missing the mark in stretching their imagination. Also, Junie B Jones. My daughter likes these short chapter books, and she enjoys them all as bedtime stories. My dd finds the books amusing and does not see them as a training ground for "how to be a brat". Plus, if Junie B Jones is a brat, what is Pippi Longstocking? I mean seriously.....or Ramona for that matter - they both do circles around Junie B.
Again, our opinions differ.

Junie, when her teacher calls her "Junie Jones," screams, "EVERYBODY FORGETS MY 'B'."

Maybe that's because we all know what "B" stands for in this context? And I don't mean "brat," either. Moving on...

Ramona, when she does something wrong, feels guilty and tries to make up for what she did. Junie has no conscience, nor no consciousness that anything she does is anything less than perfect.

Quote:

Someone referred to an obese person eating an eclair being the same as feeding our brain fluff books. I don't really get that. An eclair won't make you obese, unless you eat them ALL OF THE TIME.

again, it's all about balance. anyway, bailing out of this thread now.

Aw, don't run away just when people are starting to disagree with you. Come on back and play, hon. I promise not to bite. Well, not too hard, anyway.
post #122 of 136
Disney ending of Snow White:
*Dwarves push rock off cliff, rock falls on evil queen

Real ending of Snow White:
*Queen goes to Snow White's wedding and is forced to wear red-hot iron shoes and dance until she dies.

Disney ending of Cinderella:
Cinderella and the prince live happily ever after.

Real ending of Cinderella:

Stepsisters cut off toes and heels, respectively, to fit into shoe. Tattletale doves rat them out, then peck out their eyes on the way to and from the wedding.

Disney ending of The Little Mermaid:
Ariel and the prince live happily ever after.

Real ending of The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid dies.


Gosh - I can't imagine why Disney changed the endings???

I have all of the classic fairytales. We read them everyday. My child loves both versions dearly. My point was - you can still tell the disney story is the same as the orginal & it still encompasses a child's imagination fully and is good literature.

As for your other comments, I'm not the defender of Junie B Jones so I could care less if we agree. My dd enjoys them and I enjoy our time together reading them. That's sufficient in itself.

And please don't call me "hon" darling. That just get's on my nerves.
post #123 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
And please don't call me "hon" darling. That just get's on my nerves.
: No, no, no. I believe the proper technical term you're looking for is "darlin' " :

Lillian
post #124 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
Gosh - I can't imagine why Disney changed the endings???
Why, it was to sell millions and millions of dollars of product, of course!
Quote:


I have all of the classic fairytales. We read them everyday.
My child loves both versions dearly.
I thought your implication with "Gosh..." was that those versions weren't appropriate for children, or did I misread you?
Quote:
My point was - you can still tell the disney story is the same as the orginal & it still encompasses a child's imagination fully and is good literature.
My point was that the Disney story is not at all the same as the original and tampers with its meaning in order to move millions of dollars of product.
Quote:
And please don't call me "hon" darling. That just get's on my nerves.
Okay! Will you not use the word "gosh" and take the apostrophe out of "get's"? That gets on my nerves.
post #125 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
For us, I have been making a very concentrated effort to bring in classical literature. I realized that I wasn't ever read fairy tales and Aesop's tales and myths and legends as a child even though my parents read to me all the time and I was an avid reader from the time I taught myself at four. My boys love listening to these stories, and ds#1 has slowly begun to be able to listen to the slightly more "scary" ones. (I do still censor some fairy tales as the originals of some are much too scary for him at six.) I have also found a new-love for classic stories. My only introduction to many fairy tales was through Disney and I couldn't stand them (still can't). But the real thing ... now that's another story. (Pun intended! ) My boys still ove checking out BatMan and SpiderMan at the library; and we let them (though we tell them we won't read actual comics ... so they get stories about these characters). But, one my middle son's favorite stories to date is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
My kids love myths and legends. We are studying sotw vol 1 this year sot eh ancients which meas reading greek and roman myths and legends, ancient chinese fables etc. They are wonderful! I makw sure to include poetry in what we read as well, they may not be able to fully understand it all, but they are learning the rhythm and rhyme to it, metaphors etc. My son likes to read comics, I allow him because he then uses them as a spring board to write his own comics. TO me the pay off in the end is worth it.

I don't know what the Junie B Jones storie are like, My kids like ones about kids their age but we stick to the ones listed in the Sonlight catalogue if we can. Though I add others like Baby Island, LIttle house on the prairie, plus things like shakespeare, tom sawyer, Little Britches and whatnot. I have a copy of Moby Dick here, I have told my kids the day they can read it AND fully understand it I will graduate them lol Every now and then they pick it up to try.

SOmething I didn't add in my original post is that beyond just censoring them I let them see me reading a variety of books, usually non-fiction or a classic story. I have a few authors I read (Diana Gabaldon, Dean Koontz) but 90% of the reading material the kids see me read is quality stuff. SO there is never an issue of do as I say not as I do and makes them more inclined to read the books I chose because they know I read them too.
post #126 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Why, it was to sell millions and millions of dollars of product, of course!

I thought your implication with "Gosh..." was that those versions weren't appropriate for children, or did I misread you?

My point was that the Disney story is not at all the same as the original and tampers with its meaning in order to move millions of dollars of product.


Okay! Will you not use the word "gosh" and take the apostrophe out of "get's"? That gets on my nerves.
oh goodness gracious. for pete's sake! (better?) lol.

i like disney, junie b jones, spongebob....i like it all. in fact, all we read is barbie, captain underpants, and walter the farting dog.

as i type, my kids are actually watching a disney movie & eating chocolate eclairs.:nana:

goodbye meg murray....and may we meet again in another thread regarding such intense topics as disney movies and chapter books.
post #127 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
oh goodness gracious. for pete's sake! (better?) lol.

i like disney, junie b jones, spongebob....i like it all. in fact, all we read is barbie, captain underpants, and walter the farting dog.

as i type, my kids are actually watching a disney movie & eating chocolate eclairs.:nana:

goodbye meg murray....and may we meet again in another thread regarding such intense topics as disney movies and chapter books.
Hey, don't diss (is that even how it's spelled?) on Captain Underpants! He rocks! Actually, better than he is Sideways Stories from Wayside School ... fluff all the way but way worth the ride.
post #128 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
The children's librarian at our library says that, in his experience, "fluff" reading is not a gateway to reading better material. He says that many kids read fluff and only fluff, and that in his experience, the opposite tends to be true: kids who already love to read enjoy fluff as part of their reading diet but not all of it. Our children's librarian said that, again, in his experience, most kids who read mainly fluff never branch out.
I would say yes to this, in general (as a children's/ teen's librarian.)

Kids who stick to the fluff, assuming fluff is what I have seen to be mostly your series items or those items not as well written (not dis'ing here ) -- Junie B. Jones, Mary Kate and Ashley, R. L. Stine, Dav Pilkey -- yes I would agree, in general. If these are the only items they are choosing because they are not choosing other items, I would say they will continue to read fluff through jr. high and high school.

HOWEVER, also in general, my biggest fluff readers are regular/ average public school kids. I think this is because they simply need some decompression time from the requirements of their school year. In the summer, I'm happy if they are reading fluff because all year they have asked me for books that will get them points on their AR testing. (Now this is in general and my community is not the average typical community. Oh, and I don't like AR lists, if you couldn't tell. )

Now a kid who is a reader, may have a favorite genre or style, but is willing to try something new. Do they read fluff? Some do, some don't. It just depends on their mood. This goes for public and homeschooled kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanbean View Post
Here are my thoughts:

There are well-written books and poorly-written books, there are books that provoke deep thought and books that promote passive participation,

but

There's no such thing as "fluff" in the sense of a book we read being unimportant or inconsequential.
I end this here because I agree with this portion. One of my pet peeves is when kids ask me, "So what's a good book on x topic?" or more simply "What's a good book to read (in general)?" Well, honestly, I don't believe that there's one or a few good books for recreational reading. Any book can be a good book to the reader if they find something in it that inspires or somehow touches the reader. However, reading for education and reading just for fun are two different tings. As a public librarian, my goal is to simply connect a young reader with a book. I have no other goals. I don't need to know the child's reading level. I would like to know interests because 95% of the time, kids who tell me they don't like to read weren't given a chance to pursue personal interests, or the case for many boys, weren't allowed to read a work of non-fiction. I want a reader to see that yes, you are told to read by parents, by teachers, by other authoritarian figures. But in your free time, come to my library where you will have the power to choose what you want to read.

The flipside to that, as a hs'ing parent, that there will be days where there are things we are reading for a purpose -- perhaps to extend knowledge on something we discovered or to gather background material for a topic of interest. But I imagine that fluff reading to counter this kind of learning would still come into play. Do I have to participate in reading it aloud? No. But if my child would like me to, I would try for the sheer sake of showing support in his/her choices.
post #129 of 136
People have enjoyed fluff for a long time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_dreadful
post #130 of 136
True! I always thought of these as precursors to Pulp Fiction items.

As for classic lit, what about Bram Stoker (amongst others) having stories that started as Penny Dreadfuls? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A4481787)
post #131 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
oh goodness gracious. for pete's sake! (better?) lol.

i like disney, junie b jones, spongebob....i like it all. in fact, all we read is barbie, captain underpants, and walter the farting dog.

as i type, my kids are actually watching a disney movie & eating chocolate eclairs.:nana:

goodbye meg murray....and may we meet again in another thread regarding such intense topics as disney movies and chapter books.
:::
post #132 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
oh goodness gracious. for pete's sake! (better?) lol.

i like disney, junie b jones, spongebob....i like it all. in fact, all we read is barbie, captain underpants, and walter the farting dog.

as i type, my kids are actually watching a disney movie & eating chocolate eclairs.:nana:

goodbye meg murray....and may we meet again in another thread regarding such intense topics as disney movies and chapter books.
A good sense of fun ( and humor ) is a great gift to our children. Our kids will be happier adults for it.
post #133 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaywyn View Post
Brain Candy? Hmmmm, every brain needs a treat. I don't even get what the issue is? And, as far as lasting effects, well, I certainly hope it will have some! Reading solely for entertainment comes to mind. And, the wonderful memories of enjoyable reading as a child cannot be dismissed. Which will lead to even more interest as an adult. And, of course, appreciation of the person who facilitated the fun!

You are fine. You definitely should read what your child wants. It shows your child that you care about their interests. Which inspires them to expand their horizons and possibly even care about what you would like them to read. Kwim?
post #134 of 136
I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts so far. What a lively conversation!

Personally, I believe that there are differences between reading for entertainment, and reading for education. However, there is a HUGE grey area that overlaps both of those. While one book may be just a simple story with simple characters/themes etc., if that book has a few words in there that expand the kid's vocabulary, then I don't think it can just be written off as being worthless. I find myself pretty much in line with the mom who said that while The Little Mermaid would be considered fluff, it could also be a good jumping off point for many great discussions, such as marrying someone you don't know much about and how that might not be a good ideal to follow. (The same theme to be found in Romeo and Juliet.. but I'll get to Shakespeare later.) Yes, I believe that kids should get a steady dose of good, weighty, age-appropriate, thought-inducing literature. However, I don't believe that that should negate reading fluffy, silly, "feel-good" books as entertainment. Because, while they're "playing with their books" (read as: reading for entertainment) they may actually learn something without even meaning to. Maybe that's a good way of putting it, I see reading fluff as being akin to "playing" rather than "wasting time." And, as we all know, play-time can definately equal learning time if it's gone about in the right way.

Switching gears a little bit though.. Awhile back in the thread there was also a bit of a debate about the merit of reading plays vs. seeing them on tv vs. seeing them acted in person. As someone who almost became a technical theatre major I have to say that all of the above would be considered valuable to me. Again, it's all a matter of putting the right kind of spin on it. Yes, I LOVE going to the theatre and seeing plays by William Shakespeare (or Christopher Marlowe, or Oscar Wilde, or Tennesse Williams, or Arthur Miller, or Moliere etc.) I really got to know the plays a lot better by reading them, seeing the notes the playwright made to direct the action, and analyzing the play from different angles. I loved my script analysis class in college so much I took it twice. Yes, reading Shakespeare and trying to decipher the thees and thous in middle-school may be a bit of a stretch at that age, however take the kid to see Midsummer's Night Dream and then have him/her read the play to understand the subtleties and they may develop a life-long interest. (And if you're lucky, they might go on to be the next great script writer in Hollywood!) I think it goes back to age-appropriateness of the material. Maybe it comes down to the fact that instead of force-feeding something alien like Shakespearian vernacular, maybe kids need to start off reading things like Everyman or The Glass Menagerie or The Cherry Orchard. Or when they're studying Greek mythology they can pick up Antigone or the more adult-themed comedy Lysistrata. Perhaps, those would encourage them to think of plays on a level that they are familiar with before they move on to more complex things like trying to interpret Shakespeare's stylized verses. I don't know why I went on so long... I think I just hate to think that anyone would turn their kids away from reading plays at all.
post #135 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
A good sense of fun ( and humor ) is a great gift to our children. Our kids will be happier adults for it.
A popular homeschooling book author once said that she's come to the conclusion that there are basically two types of homeschoolers: those with a sense of humor and those without. - Lillian
post #136 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by poisonedpenny View Post
However, I don't believe that that should negate reading fluffy, silly, "feel-good" books as entertainment. Because, while they're "playing with their books" (read as: reading for entertainment) they may actually learn something without even meaning to. Maybe that's a good way of putting it, I see reading fluff as being akin to "playing" rather than "wasting time."
Well put! - Lillian

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › What is your opinion on "fluff" books?