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» » The Story of Little Black Sambo
The Story of Little Black Sambo


Helen Bannerman


The Story of Little Black Sambo


Children's Books

PDF ebook size:

1831 kb

ePub ebook size:

1215 kb

Fb2 ebook size:

1531 kb

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Ragged Bears Ltd; New edition edition (August 31, 1996)





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The Story of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman

By the Scottish author of a number of children's books, the most famous being Little Black Sambo. She lived for a good proportion of her life in India, where her husband was an officer in the Indian Medical Service. The story takes place in a fairy tale India where a little boy outwits the predators in his world, to return safely home and eat 169 pancakes for his supper. It was a children's favourite for half a century.
A few years ago The Story of Little Babaji was published. It was same story as Little Black Sambo, with the same characters (albeit with different names) in the correct Indian setting. It had the same humor (who cannot appreciate a tiger wearing shoes on its ears), the same thrill of victory when the tigers run themselves into butter and a courageous little boy gets his clothes back, the same self-satisfied pleasure when a happy family stuffs itself with buttered pancakes. I enjoyed reading it immensely.
Which is why I am disappointed with this volume. When I heard that a new edition of The Story of Little Black Sambo was being published under it's original title, I was anxious to add it to my collection. I loved it as a child, and I was ready to love it again as an adult. Now that I have my copy in hand, though, I find that I'm of two minds about it. One the one hand, it's a visual treat -- the pictures fairly hum with life. The detail work is amazing, from the proper caste mark on the mother's forehead to the south-bound end of a certain north-bound tiger. The reader is left in no doubt that he or she is deep in the Indian sub-continent.
And that is the problem. Because if the plants are Indian, and the birds are Indian, and the tigers are Indian, and the buildings are Indian, and the clothes are Indian, and the personal decoration is Indian, why, then, aren't the people Indian? As I look at his illustrations, I couldn't help feeling that Bing knew exactly where his story was set, he just couldn't bring himself to let go of that old, incorrect stereotype that has plagued this story for so many years. The mixture of the two strikes a decidely peculiar note. I found myself noticing the incongruity and missing the story.
In the end, then, Bing's illustrations do not so much advance the story, as illustrations should, as distract the reader from it.
And that is a shame.
Loved this story as a kid and thought all this stuff about the book being racist was nonsense, that there's no point in censoring books because that's how we learn about the past, etc. Then my copy came and I read it to my child. This is no Puddin' Head Wilson. I couldn't get through it with the characters names as written, so instead of Black* we just call them "Little Boy* Sambo", "Mama* Mumbo" and "Papa*Jumbo", and the charming story can be repeated in the modern age.

The edition we received was a low quality printing, but it was the only reasonably priced copy I could find.
The pictures are in black and white! The original art work is rich in jeweled colors and exquiste. Don't buy this!!! Get a colored picture version. It is not described well on the website. Beware. This is a cheap reprint of a wonderfully told old story. Don't buy this! Very disappointed. Will return.
I’ve always loved this story. My teachers used to read it to us. Of course, being in my late 60’s that was before all the complaints on race & we knew nothing about political correctness. I just think it’s a classic piece of literature & always thought it based in Africa where lions & tigers roam(ed) free.
OK. Not PC, but this is the book I read as a child, and I was curious to look at it again. Although not PC, I think it is pretty harmless and does not denigrate. Yes, it depicts people with dark skin, but they are Indian, not US Blacks. The mother does resemble Aunt Jemima, but it could also be a South Asian. And, Sambo outsmarts the tigers, so, he is hardly a character of ridicule.
When I was a kid in the early 80’s, I would go visit my grandparents. They had this book when it was a Little Golden book. Since then LGB probably decided the 1923 character descriptions & names in this book were not what they wanted their name attached to. Which I get. The book is way behind in times as far as race. However, I love this book. This book brings back memories of being at my grandparent’s house. I loved being there. And I miss them terribly. So when I saw this book was available on Amazon I had to buy it. I’m so glad I did. Reading it again definitely put a smile on my face.
As a child this story was a childhood favorite. Today with my multiracial children it has been a great tool to help teach about how wrong the book itself was when it was written. You have to take the characters as portrayed as a snapshot of the times they were written in. And as I said for a children's book it is a good teaching tool to start a conversation with kids about race and poor perceptions.
Not a very good rendition of the original. The pictures are not in color and not well done.
Have you actually partnered with the SPLC? They are a Communist Front Organisation.
If you did, why would you do it? They are the enemy! And they will advise you to not do business with pro American conservatives.
Where are your loyalties?

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