Monday, July 28, 2008

My big pink book of everything by Chez Picthall & Christina Gunzi - review

My big pink book of everything by Chez Picthall & Christina Gunzi - review
Ok, how can I not review this book? The blog is called Pink Me, for gosh sake, and, even though I don't automatically gravitate toward everything pink, there is the hair to consider. I get a lot of respect from little girls because of the hair. So I owe it to those kids to check this book out and decide whether it is offensive in its traipse through the gender-specific minefield, or whether it is largely innocuous, and will not set little girls off down the path that leads to brand-name materialism and low math scores.

Because that's what we're talking about. I don't care if some young thing ends up reading the It Girl books or the Clique novels, as long as she keeps reading something, and keeps coming to the library. As long as there are enough other messages in her life telling her that she is for more than gossip and shopping.

So, what does My big pink book of everything tell a girl that she is for? First of all, she is certainly a person who can learn her numbers, her colors, and her shapes. That's what this book is: an early learning book not unlike many others. Pinker. Populated entirely by girls. But perfectly serviceable. The "name the foods" page has lots of healthy things like cherries and tomatoes and cheese, but also cupcakes and a doughnut, which I think is nice. I always felt preached-at by the books that only showed healthy foods. The little girls are black, white, Latina, mixed-race, Asian. Like a box of doughnuts themselves, actually.

And then there's page 18. "My busy day." All the activities pictured on this page are domestic duties: cooking, sweeping, washing clothes, gardening, pushing a doll carriage. What, no ironing? The very next page, ok, is about playing, and the little girls take a break from their chores by dancing, playing soccer, fishing, reading, drawing, etc. So I should probably relax. After all, my two boys did lots of pretend cooking in their day. Although not so much pretend clothes washing - that's a new one on me.

Bottom line: My big pink book of everything is an appealing, colorful book with lots of interaction. Will it fry your retinas? You bet. Look up from this book after only a few pages and you get a big green splotch in your field of vision. But will it fry your daughter's brain? Nope. Leave that to Barbie.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the great review. At Picthall and Gunzi we really try not to 'fry' children's brains! Our whole purpose is to encourage children to look at and read books and so we try to give them what they love:- pink things, tractors, trucks, pets... we think it's just as easy to count a tractor, a pink furry pen or a rabbit as it is to count a dot, and it's a whole lot more fun!
Chez Picthall