Category Archives: color

Colorlicious Tea Party Storytime Special

Want to cash in on the super-popularity of Pinkalicious but don’t want to alienate boys (or, more likely, the parents of boys)? Then throw a Colorlicious party instead! Fans will still get to enjoy the sublime Pinkalicious, but with a bit of variety to cut the cloying gender paradigm.

Here’s the program we presented at my library, to the best of my recollection:

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
We just did a straight up reading of this classic, which I love, love, love. Best not dwell too long on how they hugged so much they became green; that could become an awkward conversation. Sometimes I’ll ask the kids if they’ve ever been so sad that they cried themselves to pieces. I tell them I hope they never do.

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh, with special guest the mouse
I brought in my own personal white mouse puppet to introduce this book. As we read the story we draped him in the appropriately colored scarves. It was pretty interpretive puppet dance-tastic.

Make a Rainbow (fruit salad flannel board).
See the pictures below. Our “pot” kind of looks like a robot, so of course I made it talk in a robot voice, demanding fruit.

Make a Rainbow
(some good soul who typed out our copy made this poem all grammatical by using “have”, but the rhyme demands that you use “got.” Usually I am a grammar stickler, but poetry takes precedence, and colloquial usage is near and dear to my heart, so please, got it up here. Although the last line doesn’t rhyme with anything, but after all that vigorous stirring, you just have to hope no one notices or cares. The robot voice helps distract from the crappy lack of rhyme as well.)

Take some cherries and put them in a pot.
Stir them, stir them, stir them a lot!
Pour them out and what do you got?
The prettiest red you have ever seen!

Repeat with: oranges, lemons, limes, blueberries, and grapes. If you can’t figure out which colors go with which fruits on your own, might I suggest another line of work?

Pinkalicious!
Ah, the book we’d all been waiting for. This book was a hit with everyone.

“Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows” with shakers! (dance party)
We handed out shakers to the kids, put on this song, and busted a move. If you don’t dance in your storytimes, might I ask why you hate having fun?

And that’s it!

divulging.

Here in the ol’ intertubes, there’s been much hubub about racism and whitewashing in and on books for children and young adults. It’s probably been going on for ages, but I most keenly became aware of it when the controversy over Liar happened. That ended fairly well, with the cover ending up a bit more true-to-art than the initial image, but the fact that the issue arose at all is interesting and saddening.

I’ve made this issue personal. My nephew is bi-racial, and I think he deserves, just as much as any other child, to see himself in the literature he reads (or, at this point, has read to him). Also, as a(n unpublished) writer, I think it is disrespectful to utterly disregard what an author has put into the content of the book when creating the packaging for the outside of it.

There are a couple of new cases whitewashed covers cropping up at the moment, and I’m sure there are many, many more that are going unnoticed. I think that on this day, when we are supposedly honoring Dr. King and his work, we might want to consider why we’re allowing this to keep happening.

I don’t really have too much to say that is original, so I’ll offer a list of resrources to conversations that have already begun:

SLJ talks about mulitculuralism in children’s books.

The blog Reading in Color tackles the Magic Under Glass cover.

Color Online pokes fun at Bloomsbury’s next possible whitewashing.

This post at Chasing Ray has links to all sorts of conversations.

I will also highlight a few blogs that focus on multiculturalism in kid/yalit, in no particular order:

Black Threads in Kid’s Lit

Color Online

Reading in Color

American Indians in Children’s Literature

I’m Here, I’m Queer, What the Hell Do I Read?

Those are just a few. If you have any others, please mention them in the comments.