UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILD'S ENTERTAINMENT by Muriel Broadman

UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILD'S ENTERTAINMENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What's suitable for children--in TV, movies, live performances--is examined by a twenty-year monitor of children's entertainment. The treatment of sex and violence, frequently censured elsewhere, gets a thorough going-over but Broadman's target is larger: she looks at kinds of humor and ways of dramatizing death, challenges the many varieties of stereotyping (race, sex, age), and considers overall problems of relevance, credibility, and contextual integrity. She shudders at the philosophically detrimental--Silverstein's The Giving Tree (released by her own publisher) is ""sick-sick-sick""--and decimates schlock merchandising, calling Disney ""the most opulent and. . . heartlessly plastic,"" and Pufnstuffs ""the noisiest and most vulgar,"" and Hanna-Barbera ""the tackiest."" Sometimes her preferences seem idiosyncratic, but her reactions clearly reflect time spent observing child audiences; she uses the candy counter line as one measure of restlessness (bathroom activity is another) and distinguishes between easy excitement (chases through the audience) and true involvement. Also, she knows not to take a two-year-old to a three-ring circus, when to provide background beforehand, and what ages will giggle at cod-pieces and miss the play. Sharp shooting on all fronts: parents and teachers will appreciate her critical perspective even if they raise objections to specific issues.

Pub Date: March 30th, 1977
Publisher: Harper & Row