From an article in the UK’s The Telegraph, about Puffin’s plan to print excerpts from Roald Dahl’s novels on popular cereal boxes, “The publisher has realised [ed. note: misspelling is theirs!] that children, from even before the age they can read, pick up cereal boxes from the breakfast table and scan the back for games and information. By replacing the games and adverts [“adverts”?!] with an excerpt from a book, it hopes to spark an interest in literature.”

Let me tell you 5 ways in which this plan will totally backfire and destroy a generation of future Ricky Gervais’s, and Hugh Grants’s, and other bumbling footy-players:

  1. The illiterate children who are infuriated by the illegible characters on the back of their Frosty O’days (or whatever the fuck kind of cereal they have in The UK, and if they are talking about oatmeal, so help me god), will turn away from reading and writing forever, instead spending their days in coal mines or chimneys and their evenings in dark pubs, fondling their tattered books of mazes.
  2. Children will develop a deep “Matilda” complex, remaining brilliant and resilient in the face of persistent child abuse. While the amount of items moved by the minds of children will rise, the amount of unreported negligence and abuse of minors will almost triple.
  3. Children will also be strangely fine with large men whisking them away in the middle of the night to a “land of giants and dreams” (the shed behind the primary pitch, right next to the rusted lorry).
  4. Peaches will only be eaten if covered by a variety of household pests. As children devour their spider-infested fruit they will smile and cry out, “More friends!”
  5. In the countryside, poachers will be hunted for sport by roving bands of eight-year-olds screaming, “This is for my heartbreakingly sad father!”

So yes, reading is essential. But putting our children in harm’s way is not. And what’s next after Dahl? A whole generation attempting to raise charming and talented penguins in a row-house bathroom? IS THAT WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR BRITISH CHILDREN? (Am I right or left?)


Join our mailing list to receive news from Full Stop:

You can also help by donating.