I remembered the 5 brothers, their unique gifts, and specific pictures from the book from when I was a child quite vividly (the picture of the one brother's cheeks swollen from the sea and the ocean floor scene are particularly vivid). But somehow I had forgotten about the boy's drowning and the fact that the brother would be put to death for it!
Here is the appalling part: I don't want my child exposed to capital punishment, particularly when it is so clearly unfair. I don't want him envisioning various ways a frustrated townspeople might resort to executing: beheading, drowning, fire, suffocation. This is not appropriate material for my little ones!
So I am completely torn: I fondly remember the story, the images, and the ingenuity of the brothers, but I am really uncomfortable with the underlying premise (execution) of the story!
But just look at some of the folk lore and Grimms tales that children all over the world have been exposed to in olden times. This is tame in comparison.
Obviously there is a limit to what they should and should not be exposed to. But stories like this aren't one of them.
Children are impressionable but not stupid. And it is the parents' responsibility to teach morals and non-racial values. I feel sorry for anyone who let's media and literature raise their child for them. This book with it's simple cartoonish drawings are not going to warp their minds. And I'm sure that I will get it for my 2 year old daughter when she is a few years older.
Please, people, find something else to criticize. It isn't enough to worry about the presentday, some have to get all worked up about a children's book from the 1930's. There is enough negativity in the world as it is.
Of course we all have differences and similarities. I just don't understand why it is so important to focus on the differnces.