The recent reference to the obscure Irish poet, writer and playwright, (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde) gives cause for us to wonder about literature and the modern generation. Oscar was Bought down by the establishment. It’s a lesson to us all.
Recently our dear friend and colleague Leigh Hobbs, launched ‘Mr Chicken in Rome’. The story is simple, Childrens’ books are like that. Mr Chicken in Rome is a sort of ‘Roman Holiday’ for a large flightless bird. Mr Chicken in Rome is the third installment of the series. Mr Chicken goes to London and Paris being the first and second.
The Rome connection is doing well, and a beaming Leigh described to our intrepid correspondent, with some considerable satisfaction the booming sales, popularity and heartfelt approval from children and parents of all ages, gender and description.
“You can buy it at the Louvre and the British Museum, in both English and French, How is that’?? (insert trans in French).
Hooray for Leigh, and Hooray for Mr Chicken. It proves that with a little bit of imagination, a large, (not terribly attractive) Chicken can really go places. Who would not embrace such joyous, and all consumingly humanistic sentiments??
Well there are those who frown upon Mr Chicken. For a start the books have proved popular. The Children’s Book Council of Australia found very little to celebrate at a recent awards ceremony. Short of requesting that Mr Chicken be renamed. ‘Ms. LBGT Chook’, they were unable to award a prize citation or recommendation of any description. Mr Hobbs, who was encouraged by this committee to attend the awards ceremony, (with an inkling that popular humourous books are never annointed) was left Gongless. To add insult, the awards committee passed criticism on the Mr Chicken series. And so they should. In their opinion. Mr Chicken, popularised and advanced an “unhealthy body image”.. Absolutely right.. And in the depictions of Mr Chicken and his travails through the streets of London, Paris and Rome, (in the committee members own words) ‘there is a distinct absence of minority ethnic and gender subtypes in the crowd scenes”. This precludes the books, though popular , as being suitable for young readers. I would suggest the books are “Inappropriate”! Can’t use that word more often… I’ll say it again.. ‘INAPPROPRIATE’!!! And Mr Hobbs should be DEEPLY ASHAMED! Clearly they run against the grain of contemporary Australian education policy, they are not goal oriented, insert imagination and wit where there is no requirement, and upset traditional ‘Team Australia’ values. What would Oscar do?? Clearly there is something wrong with Australian Education, as evidenced in this photograph.
Children like Mr Chicken. They are WRONG!! The CBCA is quite right!! He must be PUNISHED!