Is it me, or does anyone else look at this picture book creation and think someone got creative with genetic engineering and crossed Speedy Gozalez with the Frito Bandito?
Skippyjon, for those out of the loop, is a Siamese kitten who likes to imagine he’s a mask-wearing adventure-loving chihuahua. There’s nothing to suggest that Skippyjon is Hispanic from the get-go, so all his Spanish is an affectation. A stereotypical affectation.
Several times now I’ve heard parents — white parents — reading various Skippyjon books to their young ones and every time they get to dialog there’s always a very distinct tone they take that would, in any other circumstance, sound absolutely racist in delivery. The one time I heard a Hispanic woman reading this book to her child she breezed right through the first half of the book, her Spanish lifting the text just a small step above the mediocre, but as she continued she began pausing more and more at the dialog as if growing uncomfortable with the limited characterizations.
Any character that has multiple books and can become franchise enough to merit being made in to plush toys of various sizes is clearly popular. And we all know that popular automatically means “good,” right? Ronald Reagan was the most popular of modern presidents. I think Reagan and Skippyjon would make a great buddy book team.
“We need to do something about those Contra rebels, Skippyjon.”
“My name is Skippito Friskito. I fear not a single bandito”
“Well, there you go again…”