Many points struck throughout the book. Here are some particularly telling quotes:
- "But in the late 1970's and early 1980's... the chief point of connection between parents, children, and toys was no longer in playing together: it was in buying something." pg. 57
- "Because Wal-Mart wields such enormous buying power... it may be edging into the uniquely advantageous position of single-handedly shaping the marketing and selling of children's books in the United States." pg. 176
- '"The only time a child drives a book purchase is when the book features a licensed character," one publishing executive explains. 'pg. 177 (Really the only time a child0-3 drives a sale for any product is when it features a character.)
Disney, Kellogg's, Gatorade, McDonald's and others all use a company called Cover Concepts (link to their "free" material, including a Bubbalicious teacher guide- how healthy) to "help" give away "free" curriculum to cash-strapped preschools. This free stuff is ADVERTISING! in a bad way.
But terribly, "the marketing industries goals' are to mirror back to people not who they actually are but who they would like to be, to confirm that their ideas are the right ideas, and to instill a sense that every problem has a simple solution." (pg. 222) This simple solution is to BUY their product, no matter what it may be. Every question has an answer of buy, no other. Where does this leave us?
It seems we must take it upon ourselves to find a way to escape this all-encompassing trap. The last quote of the book left me with a tear in my eye. Here is the passage:
Teresa Acevedo, a director of aTucson-area Head Start program remarked, "I don't know when or why we accepted the idea that educational experiences have to come from a catalog!" She clicked to the next slide depicting the center's stunning desert surroundings. "We weren't even taking advantage of, or paying attention to, the natural beauty around us," she said. Then there appeared a picture of children playing as the afternoon sun sliced through, thick, cottony clouds. "But then," she said, "we went outside."