Title: I Saw Esau
Creators: Iona Opte, Maurice Sendak
Reasons for banning: Nudity, Violence(?), Religious Viewpoint(?)
Hello, nobody in particular! I would like to start out by saying that this entry makes me angry. To clarify, it’s not the book itself that makes me mad; it’s the fact that it made it onto this list. This is a compilation of children’s poetry. It’s a bunch of one stanza, simple, easy to remember, catchy little poems that you might here a little kid sporadically chanting. It’s also got drawings by Maurice Sendak, the creator of Where the Wild Things Are. So why is something as harmless, fun, and enjoyable as this on a list of commonly banned books? Because Maurice Sendak put a picture of a naked little boy in it (and yes, you can tell that it’s a little boy). It enrages me that enough people removed a book from childrens’ libraries for something as petty and irrelevant as this to be ranked higher on the list than America, which is ripe with swearing, sex, violence, homosexuality, and just about everything else that books can be banned for. I cannot believe that book banners think so little of children that they believe that they can’t handle a little kid’s butt and the tip of his penis. Little kids see themselves naked all the time. If they have siblings, they’ve probably seen them naked all the time. I think they can handle a drawing. They’re not going to see a picture of a nude child and get an erection! Frankly, they probably don’t even know what an erection is, because the people who are banning these books are withholding that information too! (Trust me, I’ll get to that later.) …I don’t have a clever segway into the next chapter. Sigh.
Alright, now that I’ve ranted for a while, you probably want to hear my opinion. This is problematic because, honestly, there isn’t much to talk about. It’s a bunch of poetry for young children. There isn’t anything complicated or deep about it; it’s just a fun little book of rhyme. I give it three stars and five hearts. It’s not really anything special on a technical level, but it is something special to me and, I’m sure, a lot of other people. The sheer nostalgia and familiarity present in this book makes it immensely fun to read. The drawings are great too, if you’re capable of getting past the naked kid. It’s something to read to your kids or just pick up and read for yourself. I can almost guarantee that you’ll enjoy it.
The next review will be #94 on the list: Goosebumps, by R.L. Stine. Until then, read more books.