That moment when a mother suddenly realizies what a horrible book ”The Giving Tree” is

Cidu Bill on Jan 11th 2013


(and let’s not even discuss “Love You Forever”…)

Filed in Bill Bickel, Giving Tree, Mark Parisi, Off the Mark, comic strips, comics, humor | 17 responses so far

17 Responses to “That moment when a mother suddenly realizies what a horrible book ”The Giving Tree” is”

  1. Lola Jan 11th 2013 at 03:11 pm 1

    I’d never even heard of this book until a couple of years ago when I saw it at my daughter’s house and picked it up and read it. I was horrified. The tree was a needy doormat and the kid was a self centered a$$. I would have been only slightly less disturbed if the kid had grown up to be a generous person, but no, it’s all “gimme, gimme, gimme. What, you don’t have anything for me right now? Bye.” Terrible messages all the way around.

  2. Wendy Jan 11th 2013 at 03:18 pm 2

    I had the same problem with the song “(Oh my darling) Clementine”. The chorus is often sung at kids’ music time, but the song is really sad and not appropriate for young kids. And when my (then) 6 year old daughter brought home a translation of “The Little Mermaid” that was not Disney-fied. That’s a horrible story! I knew Disney changed it, but WOW! I had never read the original story before.

    It’s amazing to me how many things are routinely categorized as “children’s” songs/stories/movies that really don’t have a good message or would be awkward to explain. (I’m talking about preschoolers, mostly.) Not that I’m very strict about these things (after all, my 8 y.o. daughter has seen all the Harry Potter movies and we’re working on Star Wars now), but some stuff just strikes me wrong.

  3. Winter Wallaby Jan 11th 2013 at 04:00 pm 3

    Wendy #2: Virtually all of the Disney movies that are based on old stories are horrible in their original version. The original stores in Grimm’s (Snow White, Cinderella) are much worse than the original Little Mermaid.

  4. J-L Jan 11th 2013 at 05:12 pm 4

    And did you know that Shel Silverstein’s author picture on the book’s back cover was picked by Shel himself? At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

    Before I heard that, I figured that some editor made a not-too-bright choice there.

  5. fj Jan 11th 2013 at 05:16 pm 5

    Gee, what’s wrong with “Clementine”…

    Ruby lips above the water;
    Golden hair soaked with brine,
    But, alas, I was no swimmer,
    So I lost my Clementine.

    Oh my darlin, oh my darlin,
    Oh my darlin Clementine
    You are lost and gone forever
    Dreadful sorry, Clementine.

    Listen boy scouts, heed the warning
    From this dreadful tale of mine:
    Artificial respiration
    Could have saved my Clementine.

    (repeat chorus)

    How I missed her, How I missed her,
    How I missed my Clementine.
    Then I kissed her little sister,
    And forgot my Clementine.

    (repeat Chorus)

    There are lots of “children’s” songs that are really pretty bad if you know the source. “Alouette” is dreadful if you translate the French.

  6. Soup Dragon Jan 11th 2013 at 06:36 pm 6

    My favourite horror-tale is Andersen’s “The Red Shoes”:

  7. Richard Jan 12th 2013 at 12:15 am 7

    To Winter Wallaby at 3,

    I have to disagree with you. I don’t think the original “Snow White” or “Cinderella” or worse than the ending of the original “Little Mermaid.” The original “Little Mermaid” ends with a message to little children who are being told the story that the Little Mermaid cannot get into heaven because she doesn’t have a soul. If little boys and girls behave themselves, then as a result the Little Mermaid might eventually get a soul and get to go to heaven, but if any boys and girls ever misbehave, that will lengthen the time in which the Little Mermaid is barred from heaven.


  8. Sili Jan 12th 2013 at 01:36 am 8

    That’s a horrible story! I knew Disney changed it, but WOW! I had never read the original story before.

    I need not have been Disney. The Victorians Disneyfied everything (including Shakespeare) long before there ever was a Disney. Disneycorp need not even have known the originals. And if they did, their target audience most likely don’t.

  9. Elyrest Jan 12th 2013 at 11:12 am 9

    Charles and Mary Lamb wrote “Tales from Shakespeare” in 1807 way before the Victorian era. In fact Charles dies 3 years before Victoria cam to the throne in 1837. The Tales were aimed at children, but they did make Shakespeare readily accessible to many who would never read the plays or seen them performed. They are really quite delightful and are good for a first pass at Shakespeare especially for someone a little wary of the the actual works.

    I always loved Classic Comics too and read many of those well before I attempted the works they are based on. I have to admit that to this day I’m not always sure if I read the original of many of those or not. I read Silas Marner in high school, but I remember the Classic Comic version much better.

  10. Pinny Jan 14th 2013 at 01:53 pm 10

    This is supposed to make a baby sleep soundly?!? Thinks about what it is describing:

    Rock-a-bye baby on the treetop
    When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
    When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
    Down will come baby cradle and all.

  11. amo Jan 14th 2013 at 09:35 pm 11

    I actually sing Rock a bye baby to my son as a game. There’s some extreme rocking and at the end he gets “dropped.” I’ve never used it as a means to soothe. For the record, he’s two and he thinks it’s hilarious.

  12. Cidu Bill Jan 14th 2013 at 11:52 pm 12

    You too, amo? It would never have occurred to me to do it any other way.

  13. mitch4 Jan 15th 2013 at 12:34 am 13

    It’s not exactly like Classic Comics, but I thought one of the great books of the last few years is the R. Crumb “graphic novel” treatment of Genesis. Seriously, it’s outstanding.

  14. Meryl A Jan 15th 2013 at 02:25 am 14

    London Bridge falling down - about the plague.

    Little Mermaid only has a happy ending in 2 versions - Disney and the version Disney did with Tom Hanks under a different name and updated plot years ago.

    In Cinderella the sisters go hacking off parts of their feet to try to fit the shoe.

    Hansel and Gretel get eaten by the witch.

    Life was hard then and children had to learn what to do to survive.

    Honey Boo Boo, that’s a real scary show for children - should they be “white trash” and abused by being made to be an miniature adult on a TV show and should they be fat like her and her family?

  15. Bj Jan 16th 2013 at 10:52 am 15

    Wish my critics could read all of these comments. They can’t see why I consider Alice in Wonderland inappropriate for children. Selfish, self-centered, arrogant, rude child, but nothing compared to the stories mentioned above. And while we’re here, consider the hideous racism in the original Tarzan stories, with Tarzan’s facile murder of the natives because they were ‘inferior.’ NOT something you want your kids to see as a role model.

  16. Kilby Feb 1st 2013 at 08:01 am 16

    This comic has pre-emptive (or anachronistic, take your pick) synchronicity with next Monday’s “Rubes” (4-Feb-2013). Mark your calendars, and don’t forget that you saw it here first!

  17. Kilby Feb 4th 2013 at 12:10 am 17

    P.S. @16 - Here’s the link direct to the asynchronous Rubes cartoon:

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