Submitter: As parents of a biracial child, we wanted to like this one. Look! A local author! Look at the adorably dorky little utensil with the ambiguous little spikey-dready hair! But quickly we were howling in horrified laughter.
Daddy—Couldn’t biracial kids be something awesome? How about a float plane?
Mommy—Sporks are goofy. Don’t you get a little disposable spork with your samples at Costco?
Daddy—Sporks come with military rations.
Mommy— In other words, a compromise to save space and money that doesn’t actually do either job very well. Spoons and forks are things the way races aren’t things—easily definable, purposeful things.
Daddy—It is dehumanizing.
Mommy— Yet another story about how being different is ok because maybe ‘normal’ people will find a use for you. Why not just “there are people who are a million shades of blue, and some who are a million shades of red, and our daughter is a beautiful shade of violet”—not some awkward thing that can’t do any function well, but something that in itself is lovely? And the people who say, “What is she?—not blue? Not red? So she’s half blue and half red?” they just look like idiots.
Baby—Bah! Wiggles off my lap and starts throwing books.
Holly: I’m sure the author meant well, but I can see your point, Submitter. I’d like to see a picture book that skipped the negative altogether and just went for an “I’m unique and I’m awesome” angle without any suggestion that there’s something odd or wrong with that. I’m sure they exist. Youth librarians, enlighten us!
More Well-Intentioned Books for Kids:
The Doris Hall of Infamy – The ENTIRE catalog, folks. She means well. I think.