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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Piece of...Cake

I don't usually bag a kiddy book, but last night I was reading a couple of stories to Miss2 and Miss5 when I came to a book called The Large Family - A Piece of Cake. The thing is, the wrongness of this story has stayed with me all day, so I have to write it down so I can purge my thoughts.

"I'm fat," said Mrs Large, is the opening line of the book. It's about a mother deciding to go on a diet and so the whole family has to go on a diet.

Now I love kids books. I love how there's not a lot of words and my kids go to bed much better if I take a couple of minutes to read to them - although I myself struggle, as I've mentioned before, to stay awake all the way to the end.

We have hundreds of kids books in the house. Hundreds and hundreds. More today than even yesterday because today was book club at school so we took the kids before work and brought home another ten. I could have done with one of those books last night, but instead...

I was frowning well before I got halfway through the book, with it's idea of a healthy dinner being watercress soup and a glass of water, but it was the following which made me wonder what on Earth the message was this book was trying to teach my kids:

It was awful. Every morning there was a healthy breakfast followed by exercises. Then there was a healthy tea followed by a healthy jog. By the time evening came everyone felt terrible.

Clearly the author hadn't heard of endorphins.

I'm not likely to be mistaken for a rock star surviving on a steady diet of nothing but uppers and downers, but I don't promote being biggish. I don't hate it or feel guilty about it. I certainly don't run down the idea of eating well and getting the heart rate up.

Still the fact we'd just eaten pizza in the park for dinner was probably giving me guilt issues as I read this book.

And how did it end? Well it was all for nothing because the whole Large family stole a piece of cake from the fridge behind each other's backs. Then they decided they were meant to be fat and gave up the healthy lifestyle. How's that for a message to be getting on with?

Yep, I don't normally bag a kiddy book, but in this case the bin is the best place for it.

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Anonymous said...

Its one of the only shows on cbeebies that i wont let our kids watch. its terrible. bad messages bad kids aweful neighbour. just a terrible show all around didnt realise there were books too. totally agree bad bad bad

Bruce Devereaux said...

The back cover says 'four million copies sold' - maybe McDonalds isn't to blame after all lol

Jennifer Davis said...

Wow. Can't believe anyone wanted to publish that rubbish!

Kez said...

Wow, I've never read the book, but reading your post made me angry about it!!! So many terrible, mixed messages!
ie Being healthy isn't fun, being healthy is about starving yourself, it's better to take the easy options in life.
It also sounds like it shows a mother role modelling to her children that she has a poor body image...we all know what that does to daughters.
If I ever see this title, I won't be reading it to the Little Mister!!

Emma Axtell said...

I came across that book recently and stopped reading it and threw it! rubbish for many reasons. I did not realise it was also a kids show???? 0.o

About Me

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Bruce Devereaux is one of the nicest people he knows. When not at work he enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies.


His career, and if we used the term any more loosely an e might fall out, has included a gardener, a personal lender, a console operator, a stop/go man (not as big a bludge as you might think but great if you’re into sunburn, abuse and varicose veins), a cleaner of banks and pubs and, for a very brief period, a door to door salesman (until the last door he knocked on was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs).


Bruce Devereaux currently works as a forty-five-year-old award winning customer service officer (glass statuette available upon request) for the Bank of Queensland and as a very casual employee for Corrective Services. He likes to believe he excels at both but then he has always been prone to exaggeration.


His favourite colour is green, with a picture of Dame Nellie Melba on one side and General Sir John Monash on the other. His favourite flower is self-raising.

 If you see him around town, call his wife immediately - he's probably snuck out and left her alone with all the kids.


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