Monday, October 10, 2011

And the Worst Book Award Goes To...

Have you seen this?!

A new rhyming picture book geared towards young children is due out in October entitled Maggie Goes on a Diet by Paul Kramer. 'It's the story of a 14-year-old girl who's "not only clumsy... [but] also quite fat" and who, after going on a diet to "reduce her stomach, as well as her big behind," becomes more popular and a soccer star.' (Excerpt from People Magazine)

The author said he wrote the book to help educate children on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle after his own struggles as a child. He said, "I'm not suggesting children go on a diet; I'm advocating for them that they know the positive implications of eating healthier and living a healthy lifestyle. I'm trying to boost their self-image.... It's an adorable book."

Can I just say, "Wow!" The cover art alone is offensive to me and just knowing that it's about a "clumsy fat girl" who loses weight and becomes a "popular soccer star" is even more offensive. Really? This is how you choose to educate my child on being healthy? By feeding into the media hype that thin is what makes us happy and fulfilled? That to be good at something and more popular, you need to be skinny? I don't think "adorable" is the best description for your book. Also, this book's reading level is aimed at four to eight year-olds, according to Amazon.

While I think that childhood obesity is a growing problem and should be addressed, this is not a healthy positive way of doing that. Kramer would have been better off writing a book about how eating an apple instead of a cookie gives little Suzie more energy to play longer outside. Or that by going to bed on time, Tommy doesn't feel sleepy in science class. Methinks Kramer needs to tune into Sesame Street who tends to be very good at showing the positive influence of a healthy lifestyle.

I'm not sure which is worse, the fact that this book even exists or that a middle-aged man is preaching to young children about living a healthy/skinny lifestyle; when he might as well call himself "pot" because all those little kettles might notice the hypocrisy.

So disappointed in Aloha Publishers for even publishing this and shame on you Paul Kramer for not finding a more constructive way to relay your message. Which, while a valid one, you've completely missed the mark. With all the kids, especially girls, being inundated with the media's ideal of beauty, a book on acceptance and loving who you are, while working towards personal goals, would have been more appropriate.


  1. Holly, I loved this and I love how your site is growing. I will keep stopping by.
    Love, Kim
    Mom of 7, 1 in heaven.

  2. UGH.... this is appalling. Or man, maybe you and I are talking writing books in the wrong genre! Maybe we should do a You and Your Growing Eating Disorder: and Handbook for Toddlers. :P

  3. wow! this is horrible! I just came across a video on Facebook this morning "Miss Representation" take very accurately takes aim at the media for creating and supporting this type of crap. wow, just wow.

  4. Even the professionals don't recommend kids diet because by losing more than 5 lbs a month can interfere with their genes and affect their height....emphasis is to stay at your current weight til height catches up and increase activity level.


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