To get us back in the swing of things after a holiday weekend (here in the States it was Memorial Day, a long weekend), Rebecca offers up this excellent take down of a new children’s book. I love children’s fiction, as a general rule, but this is pretty much awful.

I’m a children’s book reviewer, so I read new children’s books seven days a week. It’s no surprise that many children’s books contain fatphobia. But a new picture book just came out that deserves a blog post all its own.

I Get So Hungry, by Bebe Moore Campbell, illustrated by Amy Bates. Published by G.P. Putnam, a division of Penguin (major publisher). The cover shows a happy girl surrounded by images of french fries, ice cream, cake, chicken, candy, cheeseburger. The girl’s smile is pleased and peaceful. Her eyes look a little dreamy.

Cover.

This book could win Fat Hate Bingo singlehandedly.

Nikki, the school-age protagonist, is fat. Nikki’s vibrant teacher, Mrs. Patterson, is also fat. Nikki sneaks food during class because “Potato chips always make me feel better when I’m sad.” At lunch, she gobbles all the items in her lunch bag “so fast, I can barely taste them.” Mrs. Patterson also sneaks food in class, surreptitiously “shov[ing] a cookie in her mouth.” At home, Nikki’s mom serves “fried fish, french fries and soda for dinner. Every time I think about Arnold [the bully who teases her] and skinny princesses, I eat some more.”

When Nikki and mom go to the doctor, he tells them to cut out junk food. Mom lies to him and immediately buys doughnuts. (NO, SRSLY. DOUGHNUTS.)

Now the real drama arc begins. At school, Mrs. Patterson is absent. The children aren’t told why, but other teachers whisper “’Close call’” and “’Too heavy.’”

Frightened, Nikki asks her mother if they can go on a diet. Her mother laughs and says, “’We come from a long line of big-boned women. We’ll never be Skinny Minnies.’”

Then Mrs. Patterson returns to school — thinner. Too thin to fit her old clothing. She sips water all day and no longer sneaks food. She tells Nikki that her New Year’s resolution is to “’eat less and exercise more.’” Nikki receives permission from mom to walk with Mrs. Patterson each morning. While walking, Mrs. Patterson explains, “’I don’t get as hungry because I eat lots of good food…. the right things…. No sodas, no fried food, and fruits and vegetables instead of cakes and doughnuts.’” Nikki begins to cry because her mother refuses to buy her healthy food. Mrs. Patterson suggests, “what if you try to eat a little less…. And only eat when you’re hungry, not when you’re sad or angry or bored?’”

The closing page boasts a supposed triumph. The bully yells “’Nikki Thicky’” and Nikki’s friends defend her by retorting, “‘Hey, Arnold, open your eyes. The only thing fat around here is your mouth!’…. Even Arnold Inksley laughs. The sound fills me up better than potato chips.”

Let’s discuss that last page. Most obviously, happiness and social support = not needing your previous food crutch (potato chips = food crutch, OF COURSE). But on a deeper level, the way Nikki’s friends defend her is yet another slam at fatness. The actual defense — “’The only thing fat around here is your mouth!’” – argues that the bully’s mouth is fat but Nikki isn’t. The most potent way to defend your fat friend is by saying she’s not fat.

Anyone wanna play Bingo?

Fat people eat emotionally!
Fat people eat sneakily!
Fat people eat fast, without tasting!
Fat people are sad!
Fat people are unhealthy!
Fat people eat only junk food!
Fat people lie to their doctors!
Fat people don’t exercise!
Fat people could lose weight if they exercised and stopped eating junk food!
Emotional eating can be stopped on a dime!
Anyone can be thin through diet and exercise!
The old genetics excuse (remember Nikki’s mom saying “’We come from a long line of big-boned women. We’ll never be Skinny Minnies’’?) is an excuse for laziness and junk food! Supposed genetics can be overridden and were behavioral all along!

AND: Nikki, her mother, and Mrs. Patterson are all African-American.

Yes. All three of these fat females, all three of the main characters in this Fat Is Bad lesson, are African-American.

Sigh.

I Get So Hungry is unapologetically didactic and unapologetically anti-fat. It perpetuates the most hateful and heinous stereotypes. By conflating so many stereotypes, Campbell does all readers an egregious disservice. Fat people are cheated; black people are cheated; women are cheated; emotional eaters are cheated; HAES is cheated.

Amy Bates’ watercolors are lovely. They’re not unfriendly or otherizing. But they support the overall package, which is wrong and dangerous. Putnam and Penguin should be ashamed.

Rebecca Rabinowitz

http://diceytillerman.livejournal.com/


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44 Comments

  1. Posted May 27, 2008 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    AND: Nikki, her mother, and Mrs. Patterson are all African-American.

    That would be where my jaw actually dropped.

    I have no words.

  2. KarenElhyam
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I’m with Kate on this one.

    It was gross, but not shocking…

    But when you revealed their race? Holy. Shit.

    Now I’m super curious about how the demographics of other children’s books look…

  3. Posted May 27, 2008 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    This sounds like it was commissioned by some governmental body to me -either that or sponsored by some self-appointed do-gooder like MeMe Roth. It’s like some clichéd public information pamphlet to counteract all those accusations of, “Won’t somebody think of the children?!”. The probably well-intentioned, (if completely dunderheaded), thinking behind it being, “if we catch them when they’re young, they won’t catch teh fatz!”

  4. Ed Heil
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    “Bebe Moore Campbell”, “MeMe Roth” — what’s with all the funny-named haters?

  5. Carrie
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    They are probably African American because Bebe Moore Cambpell was (she died a couple years ago), and she tended to write AA characters. I had to do a double take when I saw her name listed as the author. Her novels are really good.

  6. Posted May 27, 2008 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    That would be where my jaw actually dropped.

    I have no words.

    Ditto. As if it wasn’t disgusting enough for the story, they had to throw a little racist stereotyping in as well!

  7. Posted May 27, 2008 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Disgusting. That’s the only word I can come up with at the moment.

  8. Posted May 27, 2008 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    It wouldn’t be so bad if there were a more diverse portrait of fat people in the book (ie. fat people who are healthy, don’t eat junk food, seem to be happy with who they are… and who aren’t bingers). But as it is? Mehhhh. Can’t really add to what has been mentioned above.

    BTW, the whole “fat people scarf down their food” myth always crack me up. I’m fat, and I’m a slow eater. In fact, my boyfriends (regardless of body type) always were much faster eaters than me.

  9. Posted May 27, 2008 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Children’s books like this and My Beautiful Mommy make me want to write size-positive, unbiased, danger-free children’s books.

    Bebe Moore Campbell being African American and writing about stereotypical African American characters sounds a bit like what Ariel Levy (I think quoting someone else) on Female Chauvinist Pigs would call “the Uncle Tom Syndrome”. I ignore if Campbell was fat too. Then it would make it all worse.

  10. Posted May 27, 2008 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Let’s not overlook the whole “the bad mommy is making her child fat by only feeding her horrible foods! The child WANTS to eat healthy but the Mom won’t let her eat veggies!” storyline that is just ridiculous. My kid is one of the best child eaters I’ve ever seen (will try new things, loves broccoli and apples, doesn’t go crazy with sweets) but will still take fried chicken nuggets over broiled fish. What absolute trash.

  11. Me
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    My mouth was hanging open reading this.
    Have you seen the title of another book of hers called “Sometimes Mommy Gets Angry”?
    I remember seeing it in the library 3-4 years ago and trying to stifle a laugh.

  12. Posted May 27, 2008 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    That is so horrible. Its like a punch in the stomach, reading that review, and thinking of the little girls who will inevitably read that book and dive headfirst down the dieting and self-hatred rabbit hole.

    I think the saddest, most enfuriating part of that book is that on the surface, who wouldn’t cheer Nikki on for eating healthier, exercising, and gaining confidence? What would be so freakin’ terrible about a book espousing the virtues of those things without dragging out the Fat Whipping Boy? He’s very tired and would like a day off.

  13. Posted May 27, 2008 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Bebe Moore Campbell died at age 56 of brain cancer in November 2006. And yes, she was quite thin. For whatever that’s worth. It’s too bad her final piece had to be such a giant pile of hate.

  14. Posted May 27, 2008 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised Nikki was actually allowed to *have* friends in this — don’t forget, us fatties don’t have friends because we are fat. (I did have a friend in elementary school tell me that her mother, after seeing me at some sort of school function, had asked her if I had any friends–HEARTWARMING.)

    What an atrocious book. And what an appalling piece of propaganda to inflict on a little girl.

  15. Posted May 27, 2008 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Let’s not overlook the whole “the bad mommy is making her child fat by only feeding her horrible foods! The child WANTS to eat healthy but the Mom won’t let her eat veggies!” storyline that is just ridiculous.

    Seriously!

  16. Posted May 27, 2008 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Now I’m super curious about how the demographics of other children’s books look…

    KarenElhyam: Children’s books look pretty much like the rest of our culture. In chapter books, fatness is most often used as a symbol of character flaw; in picture books, there are occasionally characters who are fat for no particular symbolic reason, but I fear this is lessening over the decades.

    Carrie and Meowser: Campbell having died is the reason I said “shame” only to the publishers and not to her. Sadly, this book will have the same effect out in the world even with the author gone.

  17. Denise
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Oh, mama mia…how can we protest this? Rebecca, do you have contact info for the publisher?

  18. Elusis
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I hope you’ll post this on Amazon as a reader review.

  19. Bree
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Surprisingly, I wasn’t at all shocked by this. I’m part black, and unfortunately used to the stereotype of the fat black woman who does nothing but eat 24/7. It’s also disheartening that the black community continues this stereotype in print and other forms of media.

    What would even be more offensive is if Nikki, her mom, and Mrs. Patterson were depicted as living in a poorer neighborhood. If it’s one thing I know, fat doesn’t discriminate when it comes to economic status.

  20. Posted May 27, 2008 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    KarenElhyam –

    As Rebecca says, in most children’s fiction, fat people are portrayed much the way they are in the world (if somewhat more sympathetically). I would say the one major exception is that the nature of the coming-of-age story gives children’s fiction a lot of excuses to make weight loss a positive trait. The recent girl-power fantasy _Princess Ben_ even thinks that it is fat-positive, all while portraying fact is the natural result of overeating, which is the natural result of lovelessness (NOT the natural result of the starvation diet the protagonist is put on against her will).

    In girls’ coming-of-age stories, weight loss is usually the shifting of fat from the belly to the hips and breasts; this is how a fat child discovers she has become a thin young woman. In boys’ coming-of-age stories, weight loss is usually the magical transmutation of fat into muscle, usually because the boy has been stranded in the Canadian wilderness or some such.

    Sadly, _I Get so Hungry_ is unusual only in its egregious overtness.

  21. queendom
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    This hits a little too close to home… My pediatrician (and other doctors) told my mum constantly that I had to lose weight when I was a kid, and I would not be surprised if they secretly assumed that she was lying about what food she served. I DID start binge eating at a fairly early age, but ironically enough I am pretty sure that imposed food restrictions as well as my mum’s own dieting behavior contributed to this quite a bit.

    Then there is the thing with the bully… instead of pointing out that bullying is wrong and hurtful no matter who is the target it sounds like the book supports the really screwed up idea that you can/ should beat bullies by changing yourself.

    And finally, the whole “eating good food will keep you from bingeing” thing is bullshit or at least does not apply to all people. I love most fruits and veggies, in fact I have loved them as long as I can remember. I also like all kinds of other “good” foods. I still binge. Also, binge eating does not mean you don’t exercise, and if a fat binge eater does not exercise it often has to do with being too ashamed of one’s body to enjoy moving it – especially to enjoy moving it in public places – or with having been taught that exercise has to be tedious (and possibly even hurt) in order to be of any use.

    I am usually quite forgiving if I believe that people do the harmful things they do out of ignorance instead of malice (and I tend to assume ignorance if I am not sure which one it is). But the thing is… people don’t need to be ignorant about this. There are so many grown ups who have been fat kids as well as fat kids themselves who KNOW how it is like to be a fat kid. If you write about an issue like this, first go to the people (a number of people, not just one person) that are or were affected by it and ask them about their experiences. What they tell you might be influenced by their own biases – but if you won’t even consider what those people have to say because they supposedly don’t know what is good for them/ has been good for them you are behaving like a patronizing asshole.

  22. Posted May 27, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Denise: the Penguin Group website offers the following contact for Media Inquiries about G.P. Putnam books: putnampublicity@us.penguingroup.com
    (Fax: 212-366-2636). I’m not sure whether a protest mail actually counts as a “media inquiry,” but if not, we can hope that they’ll forward it to the appropriate dept.

    Elusis: I don’t plan to post anything on Amazon, but hey, you can! (But do go look at the book at a library or bookstore first, so you can make firsthand comments.)

    Bree: Yeah, I was sadly not shocked either, just angry. As for class, the book doesn’t indicate (visually or textually) whether the neighborhood is poor or not.

  23. withoutscene
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Nikki begins to cry because her mother refuses to buy her healthy food.

    I was particularly outraged at this, as well. [African American] Kids get fat because their parents REFUSE them healthy food. Parents of fat kids are not only bad parents, they’rewillfully bad.

  24. DivaJean
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    My only “fat child” is the one that eats the healthiest of our family. She honest to god gave spinach and broccoli as her fave foods in kindergarden and the teacher called to inquire if she understood the words “favorite” versus “worst.” And my skinniest kid? He wakes up in the morning thinking about whether or not there will be sweet treats (especially doughnuts- no really! He lives and breathes for Dunkin Donut holes!). Did I mention they are adopted with completely differing genetic makeup? And we offer them the same foods at meals and such? And I am fighting hard to NOT make food a landmine for them?

  25. Posted May 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    i wish i could respond to excellent post but being as i’m fat & vibrant i’m way too busy sneaking cookies & soda at my desk and working on perfecting my junk food slingshot which i plan to use to hurtle deep friend cakes into the mouths of unsuspecting neighbourhood children.

  26. Posted May 27, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    ha ha deep FRIED cakes that is. friend cakes, that’s a whole ‘nother (cannibalistic] animal.

  27. Posted May 27, 2008 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    okay it turns out i can eat cookies while typing, which means i can make an actual comment (as long as my cookie supply doesn’t run out! oh no! i can’t think about it!)

    so i will say that while this book is really ridiculous and seemingly not good for anything besides multiple bingos (your takedown is spot on, btw), i think it’s existence might be useful if it helps to put the fire under the rest of us writers *looking in the Rotund’s talented direction* to get a book out about HAES and intuitive eating. how awesome would it be if there was a YA book about fatness written by an FA advocate to act as a counterpoint to this one? A book that helped parents & children grasp that food policing only serves to stress kids out and give them shitty relationships with food (not to mention crap self-esteem).

  28. TR
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Rebecca, any particular reason you wouldn’t put this up at Amazon? I’m curious if there is a conflict because you are a professional reviewer or if there is another reason!

  29. Sniper
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    In boys’ coming-of-age stories, weight loss is usually the magical transmutation of fat into muscle, usually because the boy has been stranded in the Canadian wilderness or some such.

    Hatchet! The weird part is that when Brian returns home all lean and cool, he stays that way, contrary to everything we know about starvation. One of my students is a chubby little guy who loves that book – he sort of wishes he could get stranded in the Canadian wilderness too. Sigh. And right this second there’s a piece on childhood obesity on the tube. Again, sigh.

  30. Posted May 27, 2008 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I really don’t have a lot to add to what’s already been said, but that book is pretty atrocious. That last page — ew. So, it’s OK to pick on her when she’s fat and friends only defend her because she lost weight and is no longer fat? That’s wonderful. After all, children who aren’t skinny really don’t have anything else going for them, right? Why would anyone want to be friends with them? Yeesh.

    The whole “if you eat good foods you won’t be hungry” stuff doesn’t fly, either. I get in anywhere from 4 to 9 servings of fruits and veggies on a daily basis — fresh blueberries, carrots, tomatoes, whatever. But I still need other types of food and can’t live just on that. I guess if that’s all I eat and I end up getting in about 1,000 calories or less a day I’d be thinner — but never skinny, not built that way. Yes, all fat people sit around eating nothing but doughnuts, fried chicken, potato chips and soda all day. I don’t know HOW we get any work done.

  31. Posted May 27, 2008 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I wish I could say I’m shocked, but in the Black community we have our own Obesity!Epidemic!!11!, because we are at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke–cause we’re Black.

    I wish I could write an “/scarcasm” here, but I’d be lying to y’all. Ever heard of Dr. Ian Smith? He’s at the forefront.

  32. Sniper
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I wish I could say I’m shocked, but in the Black community we have our own Obesity!Epidemic!!11!, because we are at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke–cause we’re Black.

    I’m sure this has nothing – nothing! – to do with the stress of dealing with systemic racism. That’s a crazy idea!

  33. Posted May 27, 2008 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    TR: I’m not sure whether it’s an official conflict, but yes, being a professional reviewer is why I personally never post reader reviews on Amazon. Brainwise (just for me, not necessarily for other reviewers), it would dilute the mental “reviewing energy” that I need for work. Also, if I started posting reviews on Amazon, I’d get confused about how to ever decide which books to review there. Best ones? Worst ones? Unusual ones? Politically or artistically? There are just too many books out there. The world of reader reviews on Amazon just feels too vast for me, personally.

    :)

  34. littlem
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    “Ever heard of Dr. Ian Smith? “

    Don’t … speak … of … that … hateful … man …
    *twitches*

    [snark] I’m gonna guess Mrs. Patterson saw what Pilates did for Star Jones and went out and hired Star’s instructor.
    /snark

    I just got back from the gym so I am waaay too tired to parse the rest of this right now. I will come back.

    (Although I do have to say — for those who kept noting/thinking/guessing “African Americans are more comfortable with bigger bodies!ELEVENTYONE” — I’m sure you can guess what four words I’m struggling NOT to say.)

  35. Posted May 27, 2008 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m no expert on African American literature (children’s or otherwise) but from the authors I’ve read, there appears to be a complicated relationship between fatness and body image and class and health (as there is for the rest of us) but add racism on top of all of that and it’s got to be a minefield.

    I think that books like these are exactly why we need to be in conversation with people who are trying to “do good” and “battle childhood obesity.” I’m sure that the author thought she was helping fat girls by letting them know that even if they were getting “bad food” at home, they could find support for healthier habits elsewhere, but the same message could have been conveyed without the stereotyping. And wouldn’t it have been grand if the message had been: You are wonderful as you are. To keep you strong and vibrant, move your body and feed it well.

  36. Posted May 29, 2008 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    WRT2 – Wouldn’t it be awesome to have children’s book about food and exercise that featured children of ALL sizes who need to learn why they should eat their veggies and that there’s all sorts of ways to move around maybe you’ll like dance if you don’t like basketball, or whatev.

    sigh.

  37. Jackie
    Posted May 29, 2008 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    AND: Nikki, her mother, and Mrs. Patterson are all African-American.

    My jaw dropped too. Actually I was wondering when this was going to be mentioned, cause if this isn’t a huge insult to Black people, I don’t know what is.

    Sizeism and racism all in one convenient package for your little darling! Oooh, I can already see the 4Channers planning to get this for their mini-haters now.

  38. wriggles
    Posted May 31, 2008 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    “Potato chips always make me feel better when I’m sad.” At lunch, she gobbles all the items in her lunch bag “so fast, I can barely taste them.” Mrs. Patterson also sneaks food in class, surreptitiously “shov[ing] a cookie in her mouth.”

    How ironic becuase this made me feel sad and yet want to chuck my guts up, bleeeech.

  39. Stephanie
    Posted June 1, 2008 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Let me just say first that I am a live and let live kinda gal. You do you and I do me.

    I have a friend who is 400 lbs. I also used to teach grade school thru junior high school in urban areas. It is unfortunate but the story in this book was an all too familiar reminder of overweight African American children who’s caretaker gave them junk food, high fat high calorie low to no nutritional foods to eat…children who came from families that were disjointed and unstable and as a result the children did resort to over eating, sneaking food during class…

    Maybe Ms campbell was simply giving children a way to not feel like they were alone in what they were going thru because believe me…children can be VERY cruel to fat children and often their friends stick up for them in saying they are not fat because in their young minds that is whar comes natural in defending their friend. They don’t have the high level reasoning that most adult have.

    And as far as emotional eating…that is simply a reality for some people and I think that instead of lambasting the book for that, perhaps we can look at it in another light that it may give a youngster and understanding of hy they seem to eat when they are upset because keep in mind, the fat childern don’t visit this blog, they don’t understand the psychology behind “socially acceptable body types” and just know that they are miserable from being teased and having few friends.

    All of this is based on my personal observations in teaching and the reality of my fat friend’s life and growing up.

    Is everyone the same? Of course not, but let’s not roast someone that may have been trying to do a good thing and reach children to them understand what they may be going thru and to cope a little better.

  40. Posted June 2, 2008 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Stephanie – I’m not roasting the author or her intentions, I am criticizing the piece of work she created. The *book* is out in the world sending messages. It’s my job as a critic to assess the book, not the author’s intentions.

    You seem to have missed the point of my post. This book conflates many stereotypes. It says that fat people are the SAME people who are black, who don’t exercise, who eat junk food, who are sad, and who eat emotionally. Of course emotional eaters exist — so do black people and fat people. But they are not always the same people — only sometimes — and the erroneous perception that these groups always overlap has caused stunning amounts of damage in the world.

    Who does it cause damage to? The exact kids who you say you want to help “cope a little better.” It won’t help them cope to see stereotypes of themselves. You know what would help? A book about exercise and good food that showed fat AND thin kids; or a book that didn’t place this stereotyped burden on the shoulders of African-American kids (esp girls); or a book that said that people can be healthy and fat; or a book that said that emotional eaters come in all shapes.

  41. Posted June 2, 2008 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    believe me…children can be VERY cruel to fat children and often their friends stick up for them in saying they are not fat because in their young minds that is whar comes natural in defending their friend. They don’t have the high level reasoning that most adult have.

    Also – Stephanie, do you think I am unaware of that? Unaware that fat children are bullied? Really? That is EXACTLY what I am addressing. It’s not as if there are live children right in front of me who defend their friend this way and then I lean over and yell at them. The kids who do so in this book are *characteres* — they do so because AN AUTHOR WROTE IT THAT WAY.

    This book is bullying fat kids. And it’s bullying African-American kids, and girls, and emotional eaters. It’s bullying them by asserting they are all the same group of people, and by asserting that anyone can be thin if they eat healthfully and exercise.

  42. Stephanie
    Posted June 3, 2008 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Rebecca

    Firstly, my comments we to the universal “you” not to you specifically.

    Secondly, I don’t make assumptions of what you are or are not aware of. I was giving my opinion not directed to anyone except to say “this is my opinion based on experience”. Not that I am right, wrong or otherwise.

    Thirdly…consider that this book may simply be a reflection of the author’s own childhood experiences and the observations thereof.

  43. Posted June 3, 2008 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Stephanie: It doesn’t matter where the author got her material or what her intentions were. When we’re analyzing a book, we need to look solely at the book itself. The book is the object that goes out into the world and spreads messages.

    Also, experiences and observations, whether belonging to this author or to anyone else, are deeply influenced by culture. What we see in this book is fatphobia and other harmful prejudices and mistakes;
    if Campbell’s “experiences” and “observations” brought that on, it simply shows which prejudices and mistakes she believed and supported. But again, she herself is not the point. The final product — the BOOK — is the point.

  44. Tai
    Posted June 9, 2008 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Keep in mind that I haven’t read this book, but I’m going to go find it today at a bookstore.

    Perhaps some of the explanation for Mom pushing the fatty foods is that the family is poor (another black stereotype!) and can’t afford healthy foods. Or that everyone in this girl’s family is using unhealthy foods to comfort themselves from bad situations otherwise. No wonder this little girl thinks it’s OK to eat so much junk.

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  1. [...] might remember Rebecca from her awesome guest post about the children’s book I Get So Mad. You might have read her children’s book posts [...]

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  3. [...] one children’s book reviewer, Rebecca Rabinowitz, posted a review on The Rotund blog on May 27, 2008 about fatphobia in children’s books, which led to a [...]

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