January 19, 2011

the wednesday bookshelf: oliver has something to say

Following along in the theme of last week's Wednesday Bookshelf (don't read to much or your retina will fall off), there's only one book today. But boy, is it a doozie.

Oliver Has Something to Say!At first read, Oliver Has Something to Say! seems pretty harmless and cute. Poor little kid never gets a chance to speak up for himself because his parents and especially his sister talk for him, and often over him. Then he goes to school and his fabulous teacher listens - really listens - to him, and it opens the floodgates of self-expression, self-actualization, and all the other "self-"s.

All right, I can sympathize. I'm sure it happens. I'm sure I've been the one to do it. But (and here's where we file this under Conspiracy Theory), isn't this just the same thing that happens in all the books now? I think I said this already, but aren't there enough books where it turns out that the only person to truly listen to and understand our children are their teachers?

Or maybe I should read this differently and realize it's a lesson...if I don't let my kids speak up for themselves, their teachers will.  Maybe it's a threat.  Maybe Pamela Edwards is a teacher, and she's warning me that my quiet little Jr is really a bossy little jerk boy, just waiting to be let loose. By public education.

That went a little further than I planned.

My apologies to all the teachers.