Beware of talking pineapplesApril 27, 2012 @ 9:10 am (Updated: 8:38 am - 4/28/12 )
It was one of those reading tests that we all dreaded. Eigth graders in New York were given a passage from a book by childrens' author Daniel Pinkwater about a race between a talking pineapple and a hare.
All the animals end up betting on the pineapple, reasoning that a tropical fruit would never challenge a hare to a race unless he had something up his sleeve.
But alas, the Pineapple just sits there, the hare wins easily, and the animals eat the Pineapple.
Among the test questions -- "who is the wisest animal in the forest?"
Last week, this story was racing around the web as yet another example of testing run amok, so I asked Mr Pinkwater why he'd write such a thing. And it turns out:
"Not a word, other than the two words Daniel Pinkwater are the same as anything that I might have written."
It is SIMILAR to a paragraph from a book of his called Borgel, but the test writers re-wrote it:
"In my story, a rabbit, not a hare, challenges an eggplant, not a pineapple, to a race."
Oh now we get it. No actually no we don't. So is there a moral?
"The moral: Don't bet on an eggplant."
A valuable life lesson for all our eighth grade children. And good publicity for Borgel the book it sort of came from:
"In the end, they meet God who is an orange popsicle," said Pinkwater.
Oh THAT part would have gone down well on a public school reading comprehension test.
Which leads us to the ultimate moral of this story:
"Anybody who uses work of mine on a test is mad," said Pinkwater.
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