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Dancing in the Clouds
"Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no end. And dreams are forever."
One bad poem doesn't make the whole programming book bad... One… 
12th-Apr-2010 01:47 am
One bad poem doesn't make the whole programming book bad... One bad poem doesn't make the whole programming book bad... One bad poem doesn't make the whole programming book bad... 

I'm reviewing a programming book for my reading log project for my children's class and I was really impressed by the way that it was covering Native Americans. It had really good books that are all recommended within the Native community, it steered away from pilgrim and Indian crafts for the Thanksgiving theme, and then it had to go and have a poem about "Indians creeping" and not making a sound when they walk."Blargh. Yes, let's teach continue teaching our children stereotypes. The book says that poems about different cultures are included to promote multiculturalism, but a poem about Natives that simply presents a stereotype isn't exactly doing that... Here's there poem so you can know what I'm taking about:

"The Indians are creeping (two fingers tiptoe up the forearm)
Shhhhhhh! (raise index finger to lips)
The Indians are creeping (repeat above)
Shhhhhhh!
They do not make a sound (fingers tiptoe up arm)
As their feet touch the ground.
The Indians are creeping (repeat above)
Shhhhhhh!"

My feet make plenty of sound when they're hitting the ground thank you very much. The program theme is hide and seek. I don't understand why you could just say we're creeping and tell the kids to walk as quiet as possible when the poem is being read. Instead the poem passes on the idea that Indians are light footed and have some innate ability to walk silently. I would definitely suggest that any librarian or person working with children have the poem read:

"We are sneaking
Shhhhh!
We are sneaking
Shhhhh!
We try not to make a sound
As our feet touch the ground.
We are sneaking
Shhhhh!"

For one thing it simply makes more sense in the theme of the program. If you're playing hide and seek you need to be very quiet and sometimes sneak away from the seeker...
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