Monday, June 15, 2009

Banned, Censored, Challenged: Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood was created by Charles Perrault. In the original version, both Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother die. The Grimm Brothers revised the ending and added the Woodsman at the end. (Deus ex Machina!)

However, a 1989 Houghton-Mifflin version (that won the Caldecott Honor Book Award) has been a source of controversy. It began in Empire, California in 1990 when the school board raised a stink over a bottle of wine in the book's illustrations. In Clay County, Florida in 1990, parents of fifth & sixth graders challenged the fairy tale because of the wine, instead of asking why their sixth graders were still reading picture books.

In '91 a Bradford County, Florida teacher complained that the wolf's actions were too violent. Because, children, wolves are really friendly and nice and if you ever see one, be sure to try to pet it!

Once upon a time, people drank nothing but wine and beer because water was often unsafe. Jesus took perfectly healthy water and turned it into wine. People drink wine in communion, and wine is openly for sale at the grocery store. People in movies & television have wine at dinner, there are wine lists sitting on the table at restaurants and doctors often publicly tout the benefits of red wine. Did I mention that the Bible says "drink wine, it's good for your stomachs?"

Yet, the depiction of a fairy tale Grandmother drinking wine is perceived as a plot to turn kids into alcoholics. Whoever heard of a Grandmother who was under 21?

12 comments:

Miss_Nobody said...

LOL,no really,RED RIDING HOOD?

Jenna said...

I heard about this. I'm actually right around Bradford and Clay counties right now. I must say, there are a lot of nuts down here. And yeah, I think a better question would be why sixth graders are still reading picture books.

lizzie said...

Interesting article. There are lots of books which are banned in different countries and in different US States. (Yes, this looks good here!)

Guest said...

omg yes, little red riding hood is so full of violence & drinking. i cant believe we still read it to kids.lol, are you kidding me? It's little red riding hood, come one. I bet Kiper is next.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

People take so many things out of context. I'm glad you used the Scripture about a little bit of wine helps the stomach. It's overconsumption that the Bible condemns. It says not to be a drunkard. But people read that and use it to say it's wrong to drink at all. The Bible does not contradict itself. It's us who get things wrong. We (as people) take things the wrong way and misunderstand it and then want to argue about it. Interesting post.

Anonymous said...

First of all, in the first paragraph, "Little Red Riding Hood was created by Charles Perrault. In the original version, both Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother die. The Grimm Brothers revised the ending and added the Woodsman at the end. (Deus ex Machina!)" OK so guess what? IT'S LIFE THEY'RE GONNA SOONER OR LATER. Second of all, in paragraph two..."However, a 1989 Houghton-Mifflin version (that won the Caldecott Honor Book Award) has been a source of controversy. It began in Empire, California in 1990 when the school board raised a stink over a bottle of wine in the book's illustrations. In Clay County, Florida in 1990, parents of fifth & sixth graders challenged the fairy tale because of the wine, instead of asking why their sixth graders were still reading picture books." Yeah I'm a ninth grader and even I didn't read that in 5th or 6th grade, and also let's get to the wine thing for minute. IT AIN'T LIKE THEY MENTION IT IN THE STORY. Third of all in paragraph three..."Because, children, wolves are really friendly and nice and if you ever see one, be sure to try to pet it!"...PET A WOLF? Do y'all want my hand to get chopped off by a wolf, I didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

hmm, a grandmother under 21, must be from Florida, where wolves are friendly and you should pet them.

Anonymous said...

The ignorance of this article is astounding.

Anonymous said...

How disappointing that you can so clearly see how ridiculous it is to want to ban a story that makes reference to wine and yet seem to think it's outrageous that a 6th grader would read a picture book. Here's a link to an article which can help you see the error of your ways: http://trevorcairney.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/why-older-readers-should-read-picture.html?m=1

fancy said...

1 - Alcohol is an intoxicating drug. More dangerous than marijuana, smoking and kills many people around the world. I don't care if you take it but don't try to promote it. The health benefits for wine completely go away after one glass per day and many people overshoot that. If one were to drink it for medical benefits only, then it should be treated like a prescription medicine.
2 - Alcohol actually makes the drinker lose water so no people did not drink alcohol in the past as a substitute for water. Milk and juice are better substitutes.
3 - Why in the world are 5th and 6th graders reading Little Red Riding Hood?
4 - They could have substituted wine with something else like grape juice or taken it out completely as it is not important to the story.

But don't try and refute millions of scientific articles that have been diagnosing the effects of alcohol. In fact, ethanol is often referred to as the pharmacological hand grenade due to its inhibition of pretty much everything in the body.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9th grader above,

Quoting
"PET A WOLF? Do y'all want my hand to get chopped off by a wolf, I didn't think so."

you just didnt get what he meant

a wolf is obviously violent, so it is pointless to complain that they're violent

Linh Cinder said...

maybe this adaption of the story isnt bad but i read the original and i do not think six graders are too young for it !

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