A few pages into the aforementioned Dutch children’s book, I was reading along and found something slightly unexpected, at least for a kid’s book. Look at the first paragraph. Two bullies (having been thwarted by the victim’s older brother) jump on their bikes and bike away. Once they get a safe distance away, they turn around and give their retort.
Basically their response is Vuile hufter! (dirty bastard!). And then it says terwijl ze hun middelvinger opsteken. … (while they raised their middle fingers.) They then go on to talk about the kid’s dirty filthy clothes.
A bit unexpected for a book written for 10 year olds (or so). Though I realized a while ago that Americans tend to be a bit more… reserved in some instances. It was interesting to work at the public library shortly after And Tango Makes Three was published. This book is about two male penguins who seemed to have a relationship, and exhibited nesting tendencies. Eventually they were given an egg to “mother” and they did a great job of it. (Of course, penguins tend to have different sexual habits, and eventually they “broke up” when one of them doted on a female penguin.)
Someone in town complained about the book being in the picture book section, so all copies were moved to the parenting section. Though I can understand this – parents like to let the children roam and pick out what they want to read. Unknowingly bringing that book home could lead to some awkward discussions before the parent wants to bring them up.
But in the Dutch book – it’s not the only example of “real world” actions of kids that age. On page 1 the older sister was admonishing her brother to keep up when he whined he couldn’t get up the hill*: “niet lullen maar fietsen!’ which is basically “less bs’ing, more biking!”.
* = must have been man-made, since I haven’t seen any hills yet!
But hey, at least it makes the book more interesting to read. I am just used to children’s books being slightly more censored. I was reading a lot of them between 2006-2007 for the library job so I don’t think I am THAT out of touch.