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Written by BMS teacher, Stefi Schafer.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I would like to share with you two books that we have been reading in the preschool class to learn about the concepts of segregation and getting along regardless of color: The Land of Many Colors and The Crayon Box That Talked. Both of these books can be ordered from our local bookstore, noteBooks. The Crayon Box That Talked is available through the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library System, and you can also view a short video of it online.
The Land of Many Colors by Rita Pocock
From the Book Jacket: A simple message of peace and respect for differences is the theme of this book written by children for children. When the purple people, the blue people, and the green people begin fighting and hurting each other, they are reminded that although they have different feelings and like different things, they can still be friends.
In the land of many colors there are green, blue and purple people. The green people only eat green foods, play with green toys, and have green pets. The blue people only eat blue food, and play with blue toys…you get the idea. Of course each color thinks theirs is the best, and soon war breaks out between the colors. The people fight until the food, toys, and pets are all destroyed, and everyone is sad.
Then, a child covered with dust (so you can't see what color he is) speaks up and says "STOP!" and tells everyone that they may be different, but they are really all the same. This child shows the people how their fighting has ruined everything for everyone. All the people of all the colors stop fighting and help each other to fix things. In the end, everyone gets along, and everyone regardless of color now plays, eats, and works together. And the food tastes better when it's all mixed up, anyhow!
Even though the topic of this book is serious, the simple text and illustrations make the message easy for children to understand. Reading this book with your child can be a great way to start conversations about getting along even if we are different, or it can be helpful when talking with your child about conflicts they have had or times when they have been excluded for being different.
The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane deRolf with illustratations by Michael Letzig
In this story, the various colors in a box of crayons don’t like each other and are vocal about it; a little girl hears them argue in the store. She buys the box and draws a picture using all the colors. As the drawing evolves, the crayons notice that only together can they make a complete picture.
While the illustrations are a bit busy and the text boarders on cheesy, this book's rhyming text makes it easy to listen to, and after just a few readings many children will begin to memorize it.
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