The name that makes every parent's heart collapse in the certain knowledge of an hour or more of shouty Spanglish and faked enthusiasm.
Despite all you wish for, no evil twin pops up and says "No, I'M the map," nothing incriminating ever pops out of backpack, and Swiper never rehabilitates himself. Formulaic, inane, and kids love it.
And I'm okay with that.
I put up with two years of Dora when my daughter thought that Dora really was her best friend.
And now my son is asking for "Doha Boots, pay Doha Boots!" when I say he can watch TV.
My husband can't stand the big-headed little Spanglish girl and is really upset at the fact that her parents seem to let her wander all over the world without any supervision - except that of a helpless, boot-wearing monkey.
But I'm okay with it.
Until my son found THE BOOK
Due to my daughter's obsession, we had plenty of Dora books. Only one I actually bought myself, but when a kid has an obsession that makes it super-easy for relatives at gift-giving time.
I can totally handle the insipid story-lines of the Dora phonics reader. And the buttons on the interactive books have to be pressed at least ten times before I lose my mind.
But then there's "Dora and the Mermaid Kingdom"
That book irritates me.
No, actually it makes me irate, angry and prone to ranting.
Dora's cleaning up the beach. We get to help her find garbage. Then a clam opens up and shills a story about the mean octopus. He's dumping garbage all over Mermaid Kingdom and nobody knows what to do. Until Mariana finds the magic crown so she can wish the garbage away. But the crown gets lost, Dora finds it, and saves the day. Lovely story, what?
Except there's this
Even my two-year-old knows that a juice box is not garbage, it's recycling! And then there are the two cans - which look suspiciously like beer cans and with their sharp bits are not something I would want my unsupervised four-year-old (how old is Dora anyway?) handling. They too are not Basura, but recycling.
Fine, whatever, a little eensy mistake. Except throughout the book the "garbage" is represented with pictures of plenty of recycling in it.
And then there's the last page
Do you see the "garbage" the mermaids are picking up? Does any of it look like it belongs in the trash?
The first time I read it I held out hope. At the end, Dora would teach the mean octopus that he didn't need to dump all his "garbage" in the ocean because most of it could be diverted into recycling streams.
Silly me. At the end, simplistic, big-headed little Dora makes the octopus promise to put all the garbage in the dump from now on.
Lo Hicimos indeed.
We just taught children that:
1.The only way to save the mermaid kingdom (read: the environment) is with magic
2. Anything we need to dispose of, whether dust, food wrapper or juice box, is "garbage."
3. The way to get rid of items we no longer need is to take it to the dump.
I'll sacrifice a bit more Spanglish lessons in exchange for some real learning, please?