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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Story of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman

The Story of Little Black Sambo

The jolly and exciting tale of the little boy who lost his red coat and his blue trousers and his purple shoes but who was saved from the tigers to eat 169 pancakes for his supper, has been universally loved by generations of children. First written in 1899, the story has become a childhood classic and the authorized American edition with the original drawings by the author has sold hundreds of thousands of copies.
Little Black Sambo is a book that speaks the common language of all nations, and has added more to the joy of little children than perhaps any other story. They love to hear it again and again; to read it to themselves; to act it out in their play.

Hannah inherited this book from her Aunty Vicki when Vicki was having a clear out of all her old childhood books from storage (watch this space for lots of reviews as we work our way through the box of books).  Vicki told us the story of how her family bought this book when there was talk of banning it for being racist.  I always think this is a shame where an innocent children's book is subject to a ban due to political correctness.  Saying that, I am Caucasian British so perhaps I just don't appreciate any offence that someone could take from this story.

The story itself is a lovely, simple tale of a little boy.  The drawings are just delightful and really help to tell the story.  They have certainly caught the imagination of my two year old as she is currently insisting on taking this book everywhere we go in the car to browse through.

Ok I guess it is the names of the characters that could cause offence to some - Little Black Sambo, his mother Black Mumbo and his father, Black Jumbo and I am aware of this when Hannah is carrying the book around in public.

If you are looking for a cute little tale to read to a child with delightful illustrations then get this book, but if you are worried about offending someone, then I would suggest that you give it a miss.  4 out of 5 from me.


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