Operation Caffeination

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I put a lot of time and energy into seeking out truly great books for my kids.

Obviously, though, nothing’s perfect. Sometimes, you have to compromise and accept a few flaws in a book for the sake of the good overall message.

Or you can go crazy with the white-out, like me. Because I’m kind of a Republican when it comes to compromising. Just ask my husband.


White-out, a sharpie pen and ten minutes later and “The Little Engine That Could” is magically transformed into a tale that defies gender stereotypes and includes an awesome gay character. Not easy to find in the kids section…but almost depressingly easy to add on your own.


Written by GRSeim

March 18, 2012 at 1:19 am

2 Responses

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  1. LOVE this. The little librarian in me who normally shrieks about the defacing of books is oddly silent, in fact. We do sometimes change up pronouns in the kids’ books – especially something like Eight Little Monkeys, which features eight boy monkeys, and no girl monkeys, which is just silly – but I’ve never thought to make the change permanent. I might have to start doing that. :3


    March 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    • My grandmother used to white out sections of books that did not line up with her beliefs (for example, the version of the Apostle’s Creed that I memorized at her knee concluded with the stirring words, “I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy (blank) church, (blank) communion (blank), the forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting, amen”). It used to bother me because she’d just chop the words out, often with scissors, ruining the text and accompanying illustrations apparently without a single qualm. I told myself I’d never treat a book that way…until I came across this fantastic children’s book about dinosaurs that shows women and persons of color working along side traditional white males at important archaeological sites, labs and museums. Awesome, right? Except that in this maybe 14 page book they have a female scientist refer to a fossil as her “baby” twice. WHAT. No. Respect for books is good. Respect for women is better. In our version of the book, those lady scientists are discussing the importance and value of their finds, just like all the other characters in the book.


      March 21, 2012 at 7:03 am

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