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Teaching Fat-Shaming to Preschoolers

I am a teacher in a room for 3-4 year olds in NYC. Aside from getting to play at work, one of my favorite things is reading with the children. Today, I was handed a book by an author that I know and love, and was appalled at the content and illustrations.

The basic plot of the book is that a family of overweight "people" try to go on vacation, but they're too heavy for their RV. They get stuck on a farm, learn to eat healthy food and exercise, and then they can go on vacation. It's supposed to introduce children to the idea of eating real food instead of junk and being active instead of watching TV all day. That's not a bad idea, but the way it's carried out is just terrible.


On this page, the dance floor at the County Fair breaks in half because the parents tried to dance. They also broke the water slide when they got stuck in it.

On this page, they were exhausted from helping out on the farm, or from trying to. The father was unable to climb a ladder, the older kids were too weak to carry baskets of beans, and the mother couldn't bend down to collect eggs. The little girl is the voice of health for the family and later insists that they should all go on a diet.


I'm all for teaching children about nutrition and encouraging movement. Unfortunately, this author chose to do it in a severely negative and rage-inducing way. Tomorrow morning, that book is going up on a shelf out of sight of my students. I refuse to ever read it to them again.

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