Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Knuffle Bunny- good book or trashing dads?

Yes, that is the title of today's blog. I was reading Parade in the Sunday paper and there was an article written by an author (Connie Shultz) about her son, Andy's, reaction to some children's stories, specifically Knuffle Bunny. You can read the article here at Parade Magazine.

For those of you unfamiliar with this adorable book (currently Owen's favorite and previously Madeline's by the way) it is about a little girl named Trixie who goes on an errand to the laundromat with her dad. She brings her Knuffle bunny and forgets it there. The little girl throws a fit on the way home when she realizes her bunny is missing (as any child would) but since she can't talk her daddy doesn't realize exactly the problem is. At home mommy quickly asks where Knuffle bunny it at which point the entire fmaily goes back to the laundromat in search of the bunny. Knuffle bunny is found, Trixie says her first words and everyone is happy.

What could anyone possibly find wrong with this book? I honestly couldn't believe the article I read. Andy, the dad who read the book was upset because of the way the daddy in the book was protrayed when he failed to realize that Trixie was missing her favorite bunny and that it took mommy to figure this out. His exact facebook comment (taken from the article, not his facebook page as he and I are not friends) was “It’s ultimately harmful to women, too, when children’s books portray dads as incompetent (or simply absent) caregivers. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Knuffle Bunny.

I think I missed that on my first 1000 readings of this book. Let me go read it again.

Okay, yeah still don't see it. This dad who is complaining about the book feels that stories today portray dads as "incompetent." And he (Andy I mean) is an involved dad (who would apparently NEVER EVER forget his kid's toy somwhere) and therefore doesn't like this book.
Hmm..... think about that one for a moment.

Okay, to me Knuffle Bunny is a sweet book about a little girl who adores her bunny. She loses is and is sad. Her dad and mom find the bunny and the little girl says her first words. Sweet and funny.

If we want to examine this from an involved, competent dad's standpoint let me point out that the dad in the story is doing the laundry while taking his daughter with him to give mommy some much needed time off I am sure. Doesn't that make him an involved dad?
He then searches high and low for the bunny once back at the laundromat. Doesn't that make him an involved dad?
He forgot a bunny. Okay, so it was the little girl's favorite bunny. But still, he made a mistake. It happens. To moms and dads.

It is a children's story and someone felt the need to write an article about how it portrays dads as "absent and incompetant." Which made me feel the need to spend time on a blog responding to the article. Honestly when I read the title of the article I thought it was going to a funny, sarcastic article. But no, the author is completely, 100% serious.

I still like Knuffle Bunny. I still like lots of childrens books. But this article by Connie? I definatly did not like it.

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