Tuesday, 24 July 2012

White Flour (a children's book)

Being recently empty nested, I haven't had much opportunity lately to read new children's books. And sharing a new picture book has to be one of the more delightful aspects of parenting.

So, having recently joined the Speakeasy review network that shares complementary books in exchange for candid reviews, I was quite pleased to begin with the book, White Flour, by David LaMotte. Written in intriguing rhyme and beautifully illustrated by Jenn Hales, this is a great example of how younger children can be introduced to very serious and thoughtful concepts in a fun and age-appropriate way. And, it is even based on a true story (from 2007) that was fascinating to discover.

In the book, masked members of the KKK (actually a network of white supremacists in the real event) meet their match in the Coup Clutz Clowns. By intentionally misinterpreting the chant of white power the Coup Clutz Clowns "join in" by celebrating white flour.  Several other "mistakes" follow until it becomes apparent that rather than stirring up anger and hatred, the KKK's attempt at evil simply looks silly this time around.  

The result is a unique story and, for older children, a great lead-in to discussions and questions relating to nonviolent responses to evil. Hopefully there is a chance to discuss how even good-natured mockery would not always be the right approach for every situation; creativity, on the other hand, is always welcome.

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