Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One dad, Two Dads, Brown Dads, Blue Dads by Johnny Valentinr and Illustrated by Melody Sarecky

I have to say, I spent this entire book trying to decide whether or not being "blue" was a metaphor for being gay. I have to say, I am still not sure but I think that it might be. I think this because there are two dads, if it weren't about a gay family I think that there would have been a husband and wife and just the husband would have been blue. Going with this, it is interesting that they chose to put it that way, in a metaphor. Perhaps they thought that it would be easier for children to understand it this way. I don't know if I really agree with that, but this would open things up for a lot of conversation and discussion. For example, "Why would are there two dads? Why do you think they are blue?" I would be interested in fact to know what children would respond with. The reason why I don't agree with it is that being blue is something very strange that you really don't see in the real world, but a gay family is something that you do see. I know that in the book the son, Lou, is explaining that just because the dads are blue/gay doesn't mean they aren't normal. However I just feel that it is too odd, and children might not be able to see around it. I don't know, maybe that doesn't make sense, maybe I am cancelling out my earlier points. I just think that it is good to be straight forward with kids. I am about to start talking in circles I think, so I will move on. I like how on the cover of this book and in the title, it covers more than just a gay family. It shows one dad, which could be a single parent home and brown dads, which could be seen as an African American family(?). Another interesting thing is that one of the dads is holding a plate of cookies which it seems he just baked. It is interesting because when dads are depicted generally they are playing sports or grilling, not baking. I like that this book challenges assumed gender roles.

This book could be seen as provocative, but I don't think that is a reason to keep it away from children. It is suggested for ages 2 to 6 and I agree. As I mentioned before, it is good to teach children about acceptance and that there is nothing abnormal about a gay family. Yet again, there could be trouble with some parents if you want to have this book in your classroom. However, I feel like I would at the very least show and read this book to students and discuss it.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you in the fact that children would be confused by this book; I’m confused just by the description. It seems as though they are trying to make homosexuality abnormal as you said by making them also blue characters. I'm curious in why they decided to add the different colors at all? I am guessing, just from the title, that they are trying to make homosexuality no big deal or nothing to be judged by as they commonly do with race by saying it doesn’t matter what color you are you could be black, white, blue or purple. I think this book is trying to give one sexual preference a kind of colorblind appeal. Whether or not this book was successful in doing this, I am not sure, but now I am curious in reading it.