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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A rundown of many different kinds of poles, from barber poles to ski poles to flagpoles.
Find your true calling. Pledge allegiance to the flag.
Positive Role Models
Boy Scouts raise the American flag on the pole, and all the characters in the book -- including Stephen Colbert, Santa Claus, the late Maurice Sendak, and President Obama -- pledge their allegiance to it, hands over their hearts (or, in the case of the scouts and a soldier, saluting).
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A pole-dancer appears on two pages, wearing only a G-string, high heels, and tasseled pasties on her breasts.
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On The Colbert Report, in his conservative TV show host persona, Colbert sometimes speaks in politically incorrect ethnic accents, which comes through in this book when the pole narrator explains why he failed at being a totem pole: "Me no smoke-um the peace pipe." There's also a punning reference to a "pole-ish joke."
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Products & Purchases
A bag of Doritos Nacho chips, the Gallup Poll, an unlabeled screen shot of The Colbert Report.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that comedian Stephen Colbert's picture book, I Am a Pole (And So Can You), isn't really for kids. It reflects his sarcastic humor and includes the adult concern of being called at dinnertime to answer questions for a Gallup poll; a coy visual reference to his late-night TV show, The Colbert Report; and a scantily clad pole dancer. The wordplay is clever and funny, but the book seems intended for adults and media-savvy tweens and teens who are in on the joke rather than for the usual age 4-to-8 picture book audience -- the pole-dancer image pretty much kills this as a book for little kids. The title and cover image recall Colbert's bestselling book for adults, I Am America (And So Can You!).
Is It Any Good?
For satire-savvy fans of wordplay and Stephen Colbert's humor, I AM A POLE (AND SO CAN YOU!) will be a delightful diversion. But this seemingly cute picture book isn't really for little kids due to its sophisticated jokes about such things as the Gallup Poll and evolution and one scene in which the pole is onstage for a pole-dancer who's wearing only a G-string, heels, and tasseled pasties on her breasts.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.