Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature (Paperback)
Radical leftist stories...for childrenIn 1912, a revolutionary chick cries, "Strike down the wall " and liberates itself from the "egg state." In 1940, ostriches pull their heads out of the sand and unite to fight fascism. In 1972, Baby X grows up without a gender and is happy about it.
Rather than teaching children to obey authority, to conform, or to seek redemption through prayer, twentieth-century leftists encouraged children to question the authority of those in power. Tales for Little Rebels collects forty-three mostly out-of-print stories, poems, comic strips, primers, and other texts for children that embody this radical tradition. These pieces reflect the concerns of twentieth-century leftist movements, like peace, civil rights, gender equality, environmental responsibility, and the dignity of labor. They also address the means of achieving these ideals, including taking collective action, developing critical thinking skills, and harnessing the liberating power of the imagination. Some of the authors and illustrators are familiar, including Lucille Clifton, Syd Hoff, Langston Hughes, Walt Kelly, Norma Klein, Munro Leaf, Julius Lester, Eve Merriam, Charlotte Pomerantz, Carl Sandburg, and Dr. Seuss. Others are relatively unknown today, but their work deserves to be remembered. (Each of the pieces includes an introduction and a biographical sketch of the author.) From the anti-advertising message of Johnny Get Your Money's Worth (and Jane Too) (1938) to the entertaining lessons in ecology provided by The Day They Parachuted Cats on Borneo (1971), and Sandburg's mockery of war in Rootabaga Pigeons (1923), these pieces will thrill readers intrigued by politics and history--and anyone with a love of children's literature, no matter what age.
Julia L. Mickenberg (Editor) Julia L. Mickenberg is Associate Professor of American Studies, University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Learning from the Left: Children's Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States. Philip Nel (Editor) Philip Nel is University Distinguished Professor of English at Kansas State University. He is the author or co-editor of eleven books, the most recent of which is Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books. Jack Zipes (Foreword by) Jack Zipes is a preeminent fairy-tale scholar who has written, translated, and edited dozens of books including The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm and Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde. He is Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota.