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Author’s note: A friend recently directed me to Berkeley Playhouse’s “content preview” for its current production of Peter Pan. It warns concerned parents about the show’s “emotional intensity” and “anguish expressed through acting and song,” and points out that the pirates make “poor choices” and many characters “use weapons.” I actually think it’s good to talk about problematic characters and scenes in classic children’s literature. But I started to wonder: What would an absolutely politically and socially perfect modern-day children’s book look like? Perhaps something like this.

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'The Actualized Dragon' by Marjorie Ingall, page 1

“Combusty began to wail in fury. . .”  >>

'The Actualized Dragon' by Marjorie Ingall, page 2

“Brita the Empathy Bee buzzed un-annoyingly around Combusty’s head.” >>

'The Actualized Dragon' by Marjorie Ingall, page 3

The thrilling conclusion of Combusty’s tale.&>>

'The Actualized Dragon' by Marjorie Ingall, page 4





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