Listening to Myself

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Farm Animals

Why is knowing all the animals on a farm and the noises they make considered a critical skill for young children? For two year olds, it seems like it is given the same level of importance as learning shapes and colors. Is this a lingering throwback to our agricultural heritage? Is it because farm animals are considered "cute"?

I wonder if other cultures share this obsession with barking and mooing and oinking with their children (although different languages represent animal noises with different sounds, as I learned in a library book we checked out a few months ago)

And why are there so many children's books that take place on farms? And what is with the obsession children's authors seem to have with mice? Do they think that children identify with mice because of their size?

And tangentially related... what is with the prominence of the Noah's Ark story in children's decorations and toys? I guess people pick that theme because it is biblical and has cute animals with it, but do people think about what happens in the story before they paper their child's room with boats filled with cuddly animals bobbing serenely along on the water? I know of someone who told her two children (at ages 4 and 2) the story of Noah's Ark and the two girls cried for the rest of the night for all the animals and people who were drowned in the story.

Things I think about when reading endless numbers of children's stories, day after day after day...


  • Why so many children's decorations of Noah's Ark? Well it's a popular story, and long before there was Pokemon, Noah had to "collect them all!"...ahem. Anyways, I understand what you mean. I remember reading that story about the sheep who wanted to buy something, and ended up shaving themselves and selling the shavings for money. It was somewhat disturbing reading this story to a child, wondering exactly what this story was suppose to teach. I suppose there was no lasting harm, after all I, among many others, were probably read many of the same stories, and we all turned out o.k. right? right?

    Charlie - who is too lazy to get a login.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:31 AM  

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