Words are priceless and powerful, both spoken and written. The things we profess and confess, the inflections we use and the structure we choose to organize words with influence everything around us. Words are used to inspire peace, sacrifice, hate, and war. Words educate, formulate imagery, stir our emotions, bind us to one another, and segregate us. Words can be used to build up and to tear down. I fell in love with the power of words and sentence structure as a child through books.
Books took me to other lands and cultures, introduced me to new ideas, inspired me to investigate the world around me, increased my vocabulary, and taught me how to relay stories of my own, effectively. Some of my most valued possessions are my books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and my eight thesauruses.
My 4 year old nephew has always used correct speech, which is something I am proud of. He emulates what he hears, as do all children, and since the majority of my family speaks very well, so does he. He is consistently and gently corrected when he does not speak correctly. When he tells a story and says, "I rided my bike," an adult, without fail will say, "You rode your bike" to which he responds, "Yes, I rode my bike." It's a simple teaching process and he responds well to it.
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont, is a cute, colorful story that lends to learning about colors and rhyming. However, the cuteness of this book is overshadowed completely by the fact that the book is based on the grossly grammatically incorrect phrase, I Ain't Gonna Paint No More. The phrase is repeated throughout the story. Rhyming and color comprehension aside, the book is a detriment to children who are in the early years of forming proper speaking skills. I am positive there is another way to tell this story without ingraining improper speech into a child's head.
I do not understand why a children's book that is so blatantly grammatically incorrect would be written and published in the first place! What were they thinking? I'm sure it was meant to be light-hearted and many of you probably think I am nuts for feeling so strongly about this. But I will give you three guesses as to how I feel about that. If you guessed that I do not care, you are correct.