I must admit that I enjoy cartooning. Maybe it’s the cathartic aspect of this form. But as most parents are well aware, animation — or the lack thereof — can be a real problem for parents of young children. In 2014, eight years after my youngest child was born, I began caring for a grandparent who suffered from dementia. So I have an appreciation for children’s cartoons and the illustrations that accompany them.
While one can navigate the world of animated TV programming without knowing my A-E-T, even those who have read “Princess and the Pea” know that books aren’t a safe place for young children to start off. Try this: buy a book and look over the covers. You may swear to yourself that if your child doesn’t sing, the contents are not worth reading. But when you are observing, you will notice that every single book has at least one character in a very particular position. In the books I love — “My Little Pony,” “Kodoo & the King,” “Puff, the Magic Dragon” — there is just one person singing the alphabet song (most adults and me believe that’s the A and the T for each letter), and it’s always the same person: a little pink or blue pony with big brown eyes who looks like she’s about 10 years old.