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Book Title: George and Martha|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 379 KB
City - Country: No data
The author of the book: James Marshall
Edition: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date of issue: September 9th 1972
ISBN 13: 9780395166192
Loaded: 2804 times
Reader ratings: 3.8
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cw: calling out sexism and sexually predatory behavior in a children's book
I liked this book as a kid, but one of the stories -- "The Mirror" -- always really bothered me. This is a story in which Martha, a hippopotamus, loves to look at herself in the mirror; George (also a hippopotamus) plays a trick on her to get her to stop doing that, and the moral of the story is supposed to be that she deserved it because she shouldn't have been so vain. I'm currently involved in a group reading of the book Mirror Mirror Off The Wall, which refers to that story, and so I felt like I wanted to go back and read this book and see if my memory of the story matched my reaction to how it's discussed in the book I'm reading now. In Mirror Mirror Off The Wall, the author uses this story to make the point that looking in the mirror too much is a negative thing, which is central to that author's personal story and I completely support her personal journey with her own mirror habits. However, the story itself still bothers me a lot. Why should Martha feel like she can't enjoy looking at her own reflection? Why is it any of George's damn business? I note that the previous story, "The Tub", is about how George likes to peek in windows, and Martha gets mad at him because he is peeking in on her WHILE SHE IS TAKING A BATH. What the actual fuck? He's allowed to violate her privacy and look at her in the bath, but then he gets to turn around and shame her for looking at HERSELF in the mirror? HELL. NO.
Go eat some pea soup out of your own loafers, George.
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Read information about the authorJames Edward Marshall (October 10, 1942 – October 13, 1992), who also wrote as Edward Marshall, was a children's author and illustrator.
His father worked on the railroad, was a band member in the 1930s, and his mother sang in the local church choir. His family later moved to Beaumont, Texas. Marshall said: "Beaumont is deep south and swampy and I hated it. I knew I would die if I stayed there so I diligently studied the viola, and eventually won a scholarship to the New England Conservatory in Boston." He entered the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, but injured his hand, ending his music career. He returned to Texas, where he attended San Antonio College, and later transferred to Southern Connecticut State University where he received degrees in French and history.
It is said that he discovered his vocation on a 1971 summer afternoon, lying on a hammock drawing. His mother was watching Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and the main characters, George and Martha, ultimately became characters in one of his children's books. Marshall continued as a children's author until his untimely death in 1992 of a brain tumor. In 1998, George and Martha became the basis of an eponymous animated children's television show.
In addition to George and Martha, the lovable hippopotami, James Marshall created dozens of other uniquely appealing characters. He is well-known for his Fox series (which he wrote as "Edward Marshall"), as well as the Miss Nelson books, the Stupids, the Cut-ups, and many more. James Marshall had the uncanny ability to elicit wild delight from readers with relatively little text and simple drawings. With only two minute dots for eyes, his illustrated characters are able to express a wide range of emotion, and produce howls of laughter from both children and adults.
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