Friday, January 20, 2012

Bad Frogs

Do you remember the scene in "Bedtime Stories" with Adam Sandler where he's reading story books to his niece and nephew? I can't remember the titles exactly but the books were something like Chipmunk Wears a Bike Helmet and Larry the Alligator Recycles. Under his breath he remarks that he refuses to read these socialist books. It's what causes him to tell his own story.

Yesterday I came home from running errands and my little ones were purposely trying to be naughty. The older kids explained that while I was gone, my mom had read a library book one of my children randomly chose from off the shelf. It is entitled Bad Frogs by Thacher Hurd. These bad frogs do everything possible wrong including kissing their girlfriends late into the night.

Usually books with naughty characters have a redeeming ending. Much like the story of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Johnson, the Herdmans are an unruly set of siblings who terrorize the neighborhood only to end up stars of the local church Christmas pageant. It was a touching version of the Christ's birth that gives the reader a different perspective of the age old history.

Bad Frogs had no such redeeming value. These bad frogs slurp, burp, wear bad hats, smell yucky, talk crummy, make messes, spill water out of the bath tub, never say please, never say thank you, and it goes on. Pretty much everything we painstakingly try to teach our little ones not to do everyday. The truly alarming thing is how well it works. My children copied every behavior possible.

It appeals to the natural man disregarding conscience and morals. About this book the author says, "This has been a fascinating experience for me; to create a book about pure, unadulterated froggy joy."

When preparing a lecture or writing a paper, I've been taught to ask the questions, "What do I want my reader/listener to know as a result of my presentation? What do I want them to feel? and What do I want them to do?" I frequently ask these questions about the books I read so that I can uncover the author's message. These questions reveal to me a scary agenda now infiltrating literature meant for the rising generation.

This book skips socialism and goes straight to promoting communism. If there are no morals, no religion, and everyone seeks to please #1, then we will need a government that controls with a heavy hand. Our key to freedom is self-government and as we drift from that ideal, government puts more laws in place to keep order. Benjamin Franklin said, "[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

Let's borrow a page from Adam Sandler (never thought I'd say that ;-) and write our own story. I told my children the true story of Bad Frogs and they keep looking over my shoulder as I write this post. I can to appeal to my library and write a letter to the publisher. My own story will be fighting for freedom, even in the small and simple things like a seemingly harmless children's book...

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