Saturday, April 24, 2010

Loss of Individualism

We're studying oceans in Kindergarten this week and next, and one of the recommended reads is The Rainbow Fish.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I do NOT like this book.  Neither will I read it to my students.

If you haven't read it, here's the gist of it.  Rainbow fish is envied by the other fish because he has glittery scales.  They go up to him and ask him to give them his scales.  When he refuses, they ostrasize him.  Shunned, the Rainbow fish goes to a wise octopus to find out how he can make friends.  The octopus tells him to give away his scales to everyone who wants one.  The Rainbow fish does, and the others finally allow him to play with them.

So, according to this story, if you have something someone else wants, and they tell you to give it to them, you're supposed to.  If you have a special "something" that makes you stand out, stop it.  Don't look special.  Don't be special.  Just become one of the crowd, or else no one will be friends with you.

Okay, maybe I'm making too much out of this book.  Regardless, I will continue to push each of my students to rejoice in their individuality.  To NOT become one of the crowd, or to do what "everyone else" does simply because someone tells them to, or because of peer pressure.

'Nuff said.  Rant over.  'Scuse me while I go put the soap box away.

1 comment:

Sandra Stixrude said...

No, I don't think you're making too much of it, Linda. I remember wrinkling my nose in the bookstore and NOT buying this book when my son was little. We've always taught our child to celebrate the differences. (As Mrs. Fox says - we're all different, and isn't that fantastic?)

I think I bought The Very Hungry Caterpillar or some Shel Silverstein instead...