Bad Books for Kids
Russell D. Moore on a Book That Says More Than It Intends
The typical American mother would be a bit uncomfortable letting her six-year-old child browse the “alternative lifestyles” section in the local Barnes and Noble. Instead, she would direct his attention to the safe and welcoming shelves of the brightly colored children’s book department. Amid the familiar stories of Peter Rabbit and Curious George, the little tyke should be safe from the propaganda of the cultural left.
But there he may meet a lonely and misunderstood little duck named Elmer, in a new retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, “The Ugly Duckling,” written for five-to-eight-year-old children. In this version, the duckling is “not like the other boy ducklings,” not because he is a swan, but because he is “a great big sissy.”
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Russell D. Moore is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
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