Librarian wants books to be all about ‘me’


Anonymous Patron writes "One From on Gina Wilkerson’s campaign to donate personalized books to every kindergarten class in the 17 elementary schools in the Desert Sands Unified School District. Now she just has to convince local businesses to sign on to fund the project."


My kids got one of those for Christmas or a birthday. They're pretty uninteresting, aside from the personalized aspect. Not great storytelling and bland illustration. So much better stuff out there to spend money on. Jeeze, just put a bookplate in a good book and, voila, the kid has a personalized book.

Here's what they look like.

Am I being too grumpy? I'm sure this woman just wants to do a "nice" thing.

I agree Rochelle, they're yuck, blecchh, whatever. Kids have more imagination than to have to think that every book is about them. From my experience, they'd just as soon (or rather) imagine themselves as heros or animals or monsters or other little boys or girls in a different place or time. It's the parents that don't have the imagination.

One year something similar was done for our grade one classes. The books included the teachers' names, too. However, through an unfortunate typo, one of the teachers' names ended up as "Mrs. Farty" (shows the difference one letter can make). By the time it was discovered, there wasn't much that could be done to change it. Fortunately the teacher in question had a good sense of humour and wasn't offended as it wasn't done on purpose.


Kids have more imagination than to have to think that every book is about them.

I would go so far as to say that we don't want our kids to think that every book is about them. One point of reading books is to discover worlds that others have constructed, or to see our world as someone else sees it. Our culture seems to be going out of its way to encourage the wrong sort of self-centeredness.

This kind of personalization also strikes me as shallow. You have a boilerplate story that must be written so that a great number of children could see themselves in it without being alienated or offended. The story must be made pretty generic, and hence impersonal, in order to meet these requirements.

Yes, they are dull and non inspirational. Boring even. It is true that children are more likely to get involved if the story speaks to them but there are better ways of doing it.

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