Books

Babar And Other Childhood Mistakes

I recently picked up a whole new library for my 2-year-old at a stoop sale (that would be a Brooklyn version of a garage sale). I didn’t pay much attention to the titles, but gathered as much 25-cent loot as I could carry.

Among the new bag of goodies, was a copy of the Story of Babar. If memory serves me right (and it usually doesn’t) I loved this book as a child. So I had one of those WTF moments when Babar’s mom gets shot in the head somewhere around page 3. Babar then runs away to be educated and cultured in the big city where he’s taken in by a rich, old white lady who lavishes him with fine clothes. In the end, he marries his cousin and is crowned king, thanks to his time in the civilized world.

Um, really?

Perhaps, I’m late to the game, maybe you all got a memo about your favorite childhood books that are actually crap. So, help me out here. Any other classics I should be avoiding? Let’s try for a Top 10 list.

Deborah Kolben

Deborah Kolben is Editorial Director/Founding Editor of Kveller. She formerly covered education, crime, and real estate at the New York Daily News and The New York Sun before becoming  the city editor of The New York Sun and the managing editor of  the Village Voice.  She has also written for The New York TimesFinancial TimesThe Forward, and Jerusalem Report. She received a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and received an Arthur F. Burns fellowship to report in Germany. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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