When I selected this month’s Big Kid Book Club book, I hadn’t even considered the political climate that we (adults) would be immersed in. Yet, there is something so apropos about reading this book to our children right now. The parents in our book club, at least, all hope that we can educate our children so that we have a kind, inclusive, future electorate. These types of attitudes can begin at a very young age.
One is a lovely story by Kathryn Otoshi about the color Blue. He is a quiet color who does things differently than the other colors, but generally likes himself, until Red comes along. Red, for all intents and purposes, is a bully and makes Blue feel bad about himself. None of the other colors are brave enough to stand up to Red, until One comes along and shows the other colors how to stand up to the bully Red and include everyone. The message in this book is clear and is a perfect book to help very young children combat or hopefully prevent bullying. As the last line of the book so clearly states, “Sometimes it just takes One” (person to make a difference). The play on words and the painted illustrations make this an enjoyable read for adults too. While the message is clearly directed at a preschool/Kindergarden age group, younger children might enjoy the color and number recognition in the book as well.
We read the book “story time style” since our oldest members are now very good at sitting and listening to books. In fact, all of the kids were fairly engaged in this story, despite the fact that my two kids were a little overly “helpful” in the reading process. My oldest knows the story, so wanted to help me read it, and my youngest just learned his colors, so he kept wanting to share his new knowledge. Everyone else listened really well!
With our big kids, we’ve decided to focus the meetings so that we just read a book and provide a themed snack or meal potluck. For this meeting, everyone brought one color represented by a fruit or vegetable and I cut out and baked “1”s from puff pastry. Obviously, some kids were more receptive to the snack than others (as is always the case), but any excuse to present fruits and vegetables in a fun way to kids is a win, in my opinion.
Our big kids have a busy spring, so we are taking a couple of months off from this book club, but plan to resume again late spring/early summer.