Reg and Syd: Picturebook This

“So, Reg, I was reading the New York Times the other day …”

“Indeed, Syd. So what is Michael doing to advance our cause, these days?”

Really, Reg. You don’t think Bloomberg’s going to let the media find out about that, do you? One thing I’m sure he’s not doing, though.”

“What would that be?”

“Investing in picture books for children. Sales are plummeting. Seems like parents are insisting that their pre-school kiddies read chapter books like Charlotte’s Web instead.”

“Good!”

“Good? Isn’t that putting rather a lot of pressure on young children?”

“Syd, you disappoint me. It wasn’t all that long ago that the children of people of means were entering college at age 16, 15, 14, even 13. They didn’t get there by staring at those dreadful Seuss pictures, to say nothing of whatever those Nickelodeon scribbles are supposed to be, and buzzing their lips. Trust me. I’d far rather live in a society that pressures five year olds to read Charlotte’s Web than one that tolerates college graduates who can’t.”

“Your daughter still hasn’t gotten out of school, has she?”

“A cross I have to bear, Syd. She’ll be taking classes forever at this rate, and not do a single useful thing the whole time. She keeps calling herself Cecelia and sending me links to this webcomic, thinking I’ll be amused. I’m not.”

“So we tell kids they’d better be able to read before they can chew gum. What about those who can’t stand the strain?”

“If they’re ours, we support them as best we can. The rest, we don’t expect or want them to make it. They can compete with the Mexicans for jobs in our kitchens.”

“Or go on welfare?”

“Not with our financial support, they won’t. You have fulfilled your latest pledges to our Tea Party candidates, haven’t you?”

“Long ago, Reg …”

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One Response to Reg and Syd: Picturebook This

  1. Quilly says:

    I am all for teaching kids how to read young, and I even approve of them reading chapter books even in first grade. However, I still think picture books have value. They don’t have to be little mindless pieces of nonsense (the children or the books).

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