Skip to main content

Overrated? Underrated?

June 2024
1min read


I couldn’t agree more with Ellen Handler Spitz’s choices for the most overrated and underrated children’s classics. However, I wish that she had mentioned that there are now two excellent alternate versions of Little Black Sambo . Sam and the Tigers , rewritten by Julius Lester, was published by Dial, and The Story of Little Babaji was published by HarperCollins, both in 1996. These books eliminate the offensive stereotypes in language and illustration of the original version.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.

Donate