I’m tired. And I know you are, too. Tired of quarantining, wearing masks, sanitizing, and social distancing. Tired of the news. Tired of bad news and sad news. Tired of worrying about what the fall will bring. Tired of politics. Tired of division. This summer, my greatest wish for my children is that they will experience some normalcy, have some chances to just be kids, and not be too aware what a crazy place this world has become. On top of that, I hope they will have experiences that make them stronger, better people.
Fortunately, a cute, new book helps them do just that! Released in June, The World Needs More Purple People by Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart, introduces kids to a precocious girl named Penny who teaches them how to become purple in five simple steps:
- “Ask (really great) questions.”
- “Laugh (a lot).”
- “Use your voice (and don’t lose your voice).”
- “Work hard (super-duper hard).”
- “Paint yourself purple. Just kidding! Just be (the real) you.”
These steps show children how to become more confident while also embracing the differences of others. And each step is a lesson taught to Penny by a different adult in her life – her dad, her grandma, her mom, her grandpa, and her teacher – emphasizing how important these various figures are. As the African proverb says, it takes a village to raise a child.
Why purple? Penny says, “Purple is a magic color made when red and blue work together.” (Very cleverly during this election year, red is also the color for Republicans and blue the color for Democrats! Maybe we should send copies of this book to our elected officials.)
And why is this book relevant to foster families? I think foster parents are the ultimate examples of purple people! They welcome into their homes children of all different backgrounds, cultures, races, and religions. When they do it well, they create a new blend that celebrates the differences!
Thanks to vibrant and humorous illustrations by Daniel Wiseman, children will delight in each page as they discover how to become more purple. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, or mentor, you will enjoy reading this feel-good book to kids over and over. So, if you’re tired like me, I suggest taking a break from reality and imagining a world that is more purple.