Ellen Handler Spitz, Honors College, in the New York Times

Published: Sep 19, 2011

Ellen Handler Spitz, honors college professor of visual arts, was mentioned in a September 18 New York Times Sunday Book Review essay entitled “The Children’s Authors Who Broke the Rules.”

Among the authors mentioned in the essay is Shel Silverstein, who wrote “The Giving Tree.” “[‘The Giving Tree’] was embraced by Christians as a parable of selflessness and has been denounced by feminists as a patriarchal fantasy in morality-tale clothing,” writes essayist Pamela Paul. “Ellen Handler Spitz, the author of the classic study ‘Inside Picture Books,’ wrote that the story ‘perpetuates the myth of the selfless, all-giving mother who exists only to be used and the image of a male child who can offer no reciprocity, express no gratitude, feel no empathy—an insatiable creature who encounters no limits for his demands.'”


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