Saturday, July 30, 2011

Golden Oldies For Kids ~ The Stupids Step Out

The Stupids are a fictional family that appear in a series of children's books by Harry Allard and James Marshall. Children find the characters in these books hilarious because the family is incompetent to the point of confusing the most basic concepts and tasks.

The Stupids Step Out was first published in 1974 and was the first in a series of four books about the Stupid family. Unfortunately, the book has not always been popular with parents and teachers. Some parents claim that this book promotes low self-esteem and bad behavior.

"I want The Stupids"
All of "The Stupids" books were extremely popular with the children in my school library in the 1980s - 2000. I still remember 1st and 2nd graders racing to the shelves saying, "I want The Stupids!" I am sure that it was the humor that attracted so many young readers to these books. Children like to laugh and to be silly.  These books attracted kids like a magnet.

About The Book
The Stupids Step Out is a story about Mr. and Mrs. Stupid, their two children and their dog named Kitty. One day, Mr. Stupid decides to take the family on a road trip. They get dressed up in outlandish clothes and then head for the car. The family rides on the outside of the car while the dog drives. They go to visit their grandparents but Grandpa Stupid does not recognize them. They do some window shopping and then stop at a cafe and all have a mashed potato sundae with butterscotch syrup. They walk home on their hands (I don't know what happened to the car) and then dress up like clowns before they go to bed. The final page of the book shows the entire Stupid family in one bed with their feet perched on pillows and their heads covered up with blankets.

A Smile And A Giggle
I don't think this book would qualify as excellent children's literature, but it is a wonderful treat and will certainly put a smile on your face. This book is just plain SILLY...not necessarily stupid.
Parents must explain the difference between using the word "stupid" to imply that a person lacks intelligence as opposed to using the word to mean ridiculous, absurd and silly. It is never OK to call a person "stupid" in a way that will make him feel bad about himself. 
I like to see a child smiling and laughing as they are reading a book. Reading should be fun for young children. The Stupids Step Out will make the most serious child giggle with delight.

More Books About The Stupids
The Stupids Have A Ball
The Stupids Die
The Stupids Take Off

Please share your thoughts in the Comments Section below.
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