I haven’t got lots of time for reading lately so the only books I’m stuck with are children ones. I don’t mind even if I have to read the same book 2 or 3 times a day as I can analyze the whole messages behind each and every single story. The one I’m going to write about today is called “Don’t be greedy, Graham A Cautionary Tale” by Phil Roxbee Cox and Illustrated by Jan McCafferty. It’s more of a story in rhymes but don’t get too excited thinking it’s something similar to Dahl’s work. Must admit is one of children’s favorite, even though it’s not a very kind one. Maybe because it’s in our human nature to think we are better than the ones we read about. It also has good illustrations, very colorful, that makes it appealing to young ones.
The book gravitates around Graham Preedy (to rhyme with greedy), a 4 or 5 years old who, as we already know from the title, has an excessive appetite for food. Because he’s eating everything he finds (food wise) everyone shouts at him “Don’t be greedy, Graham” so the title is repeated in the book like 5 times or more- to make sure, kids get the message right. It’s not a good thing to be greedy, so I give points to the author for the idea.
The things I don’t agree with in this book are far too many. By the middle of the story, Graham decides to have a bite from somebody’s burger and he ends up with a black eye. I suppose that being a story book violence against children shouldn’t be included, but there you have in plain sight. Then, by the end of the book, Graham is being swept of his feet by a herd of pigs and carried away. Graham’s parents are running after the herd but soon they give up and move on with their life, as Graham ends up with the pigs eating swill. Now, what in the world is nice about this whole cautionary story except the idea of not being greedy? Sure is not the conclusion as if you are greedy you’ll end up with pigs(this is the warning the author sends?). Neither is the fact that The Preedys are looking the other way when the car with pigs passes by. Or the guy who punches Graham in the face. And thinking of his family I must draw my own conclusions of this book: Graham’s parents were not feeding him well, therefor he became greedy. They don’t care much about their son as it can be seen from all their actions, especially as they give up in trying to save their child from the herd of pigs. I know my conclusions sound a bit horrible, but that is what I understood from the book after re-reading it for more than a dozen times.
My advice to all of you who have children or work with them don’t buy this book. Or if you do, try to improvise the story and make Graham look a bit better that he is described here. After all he’s just a child, we shouldn’t be so harsh on him.