Tuesday, July 03, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: White Flour

White Flour does a fair enough job of taking a very difficult issue and examining it through a lens that illustrates the lunacy of the message of hate and bigotry without belittling those who speak it - which is no easy task. The author bravely lets the actions of the people in the white hoods unfold in a way that does not mock or ridicule the individuals who carry this message of racial intolerance, which would have been the easy route; instead, the clowns give them a dignity and level of respect for them as a person that they themselves are unwilling to give to those who are different from them. I can only hope that this was the reality of the day in question and not an artistic interpretation on the part of the author.

The illustrations, while whimsical and eye-catching, felt off once or twice (the double-page spread of the "shower" for example) but did not detract from the overall enjoyment of the book. In fact, much like with the words, the story told in pictures is to be commended for not being exaggerated or vilifying any of the characters in the book.

I'll admit it: I was a little afraid to read this book to my kid. Not because I don't agree with the principles of the book itself, but mainly because he is three years old, has a tendency to parrot me, and the idea of one day taking him to Target where he just blurts out the phrase "White Power" terrified me. However, since my wife and I are trying to teach and model justice and equality to him, the lesson that working through these issues is uncomfortable was an educational reminder about reality that I needed.

"White Flour" takes a topic most of us would prefer to not discuss, uses real-life characters instead of cartoon ones, and paints a lesson in tolerance that kids can readily and easily understand. And it does so with some beautiful big red floppy shoes marching on in love.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR,Part 255.

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