Guthrie Comes Clean
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I have very deep reservations about this book. The plot concerns Guthrie, a panda who wants to be tall, strong and white like a polar bear, rather than portly and patchy like a panda. His attempts to make himself white are amusing and boldly illustrated and, or course, merely make him ridiculous. They end when his friends bring him a book about how charming and lovable pandas are. After reading it he becomes reconciled to being one and is happy again.
I don't know if I'm being over-sensitive here (there are no black children in my class) and, certainly, there is a positive message at the end of the book, but it seems to me to be treading on dangerous ground. The idea that White Is Good is given far more weight than that Patchy Can Be Good Too and strikes me as not one for a multi-racial society. I would love to know the reaction from a mixed race classroom.