A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The World Needs More Purple People, by actress Kristen Bell (The Good Place) and Benjamin Hart, is a feel-good call to arms to be a "purple person," who, young narrator Penny Purple explains, is someone who asks great questions, laughs a lot, uses their voice all the time, works hard, and is always their authentic self. The implication is that like red and blue, which work together to make purple, you can work together with folks who are different from you to get things done and have fun. With cute cartoon-like illustrations by Daniel Wiseman and an enthusiastic main character who speaks directly to the reader, it sweeps kids up in a can-do, inclusive community where kids work, play, act silly, and even organize together.
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What's the story?
In THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PURPLE PEOPLE, a little blond girl named Penny Purple speaks directly to the reader and launches right into a lesson on "How to be a purple person." She explains that "Purple is a magic color made when red and blue work together." Then she goes on to list five steps to becoming a purple person: 1) Ask (really great) questions; 2) Laugh (a lot); 3) Use your voice (and don't lose your voice; 4) Work hard (super-duper hard); and 5) Just be (the real) you. As she lays out the steps, there are scenes of her and her family at home and diverse kids on the playground working and playing together, and even joining together to demand more playgrounds.
Is it any good?
This cheerful take on looking beyond people's differences to work together has cute cartoon art and an enthusiastic narrator to guide kids along. The upbeat message is a bit high concept and muddled, though. Adults will grasp the metaphor of red people and blue people putting their differences aside to work together and get things done, but it will probably sail over kids' heads, unless a parent or caregiver chooses to explain it. But even if they don't get the political implications, young readers will enjoy the images of kids coming together, having fun, and even trying some kid-size activism on for size. It's inspiring and empowering with a light touch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the different steps listed in The World Needs More Purple People. Are you already a purple person?
Why is it important to be able to get along with different kinds of people?
What fun things do you do with your family members? Who makes you laugh the most?
- Authors: Kristen Bell, Benjamin Hart
- Illustrator: Daniel Wiseman
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Activism, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: June 1, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 3 - 7
- Number of pages: 40
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 12, 2020
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