Wednesday, September 26, 2018
"The Family Book" by Todd Parr
Banned from an Erie elementary school's shelves because of a line that reads, "some families have two moms or two dads." The distric also banned everything furnished by GLSEN (Gat, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), including learning materials and various programs aimed at preventing bullying.
-Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read by Robert P. Doyle
I seriously adore the books by Todd Parr. My son is only two, so his attention span for reading is often short, but we can almost always make it through a book by Todd Parr. The illustrations are bright and cheery with lots of color so they are very appealing to a young eye. I also love that Parr doesn't always use color in the way you would expect. Sometime his people have green skin. Sometimes his dogs have purple fur. Since children also experiment when coloring, I find this a great aspect of his books. It's okay to color things the "wrong way!"
The Family Book follows the same formula as many of Parr's other books. Each page addresses something about families and how one family may be different from another family. He also focuses on the things that all families have in common. The wording and illustrations are simple, but filled with love. As always, the book closes with a short letter from Todd confirming the message of the book. I love this book because Todd embraces all of the pieces that can make up a family. I think it is easy for kids to become sad when their family appears different than their friends' families. Of course, no two families are completely alike, but at a young age, it is hard to see that. I feel that this book addresses how families are alike and different, but in a way that can be understood by readers of all ages and in a way that is comforting.
I have read many of Parr's books to my son, since he was a tiny little thing. Although many of the messages aren't things he is concerned with yet, I like that we are able to share the positive messages in the books. I hope that reading books like this will put him on the right track to accepting people how they are and knowing all of us have things in common and things that are different.