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What If Your Best Friend Were Blue? Kindle Edition
|Length: 24 pages|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This would be very easy to fix: just a big illustration for each page, with the eventual text below. Obvious, isn't it ?
When we compare this poorly executed disaster with the beautiful iBook works available for children, it doesn't stand a chance.
UPDATE Dec 2012
After this review, a representative from the publisher called me to say the book had been fixed. It was good customer service. She didn't ask for an update in the review, but I think the book deserves more stars, because it now works fine.
My daughters love the simple prose and bright illustrations by Viviana Garofoli, but I cannot recommend this book. It takes a complex and important topic and turns it into something unrealistic and unhelpful. People are not blue or purple or red or yellow. And the book begins with a premise that the children reading the book will automatically be suspicious of someone with a different skin tone. I find that problematic because children only pick up that attitude when they observe it in adults.
So, if you are looking to provide your children with a book to discuss different skin tones, What If Your Best Friend Were Blue? is really not the best place to start. Look for books that illustrate people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds (such as Whoever You Are by Mem Fox) and take your children to places where they can interact with different kinds of people. Most importantly, have conversations about diversity so that children learn it's okay to notice differences-- and the differences aren't as important as the similarities. This book tries to convey that message, but it's not done in a way that adds depth or authenticity to the conversation.
That's the message of this book as babysitters are orange, teachers are red (actually, more pink than red), firefighters are purple, best friends are blue, doctors are yellow and policewomen are green. No mater what color they are, they can still be helpful and friendly. For our family, which includes multiple skin colors through adoption, it's a story that my kids live out already but is nice to have reaffirmed in book form.
My only issue was that it felt stilted because something about the flow made it seem to me like it should rhyme. I'm perfectly fine with children's book that don't rhyme, but I kept being thrown off by the cadence of this because the rhymes never came as expected. It still works, and the kids didn't mind, so this could just be a quirk of mine!
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