Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Debbie--have you seen Kelly DiPucchio's ONE LITTLE TWO LITTLE THREE LITTLE CHILDREN?

Some time back, someone (on Twitter, I think) asked me what I think of writers using the "one little, two little, three little Indians" in a new way. I don't recall the conversation itself; I only recall that I was asked about adaptions of that rhyme.

Today, I've got an email from someone asking me if I've seen Kelly DiPucchio's picture book due out on May 3rd 2016 from Balzar + Bray. Now, that first question makes sense! DiPucchio has done that adaptation, and my guess is that the question was from someone who saw the book.

Here's the title of DiPucchio's book, as presented on the cover:

one little
two little
three little

My guess is the number words are in italics to set them off, so that they can be read aloud apart from the other words. DiPucchio's book is illustrated by Mary Lundquist. Here's the synopsis:
From bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio, with illustrations by Mary Lundquist, comes a charming new picture book in the vein of Liz Garton Scanlon’s All the World and Susan Meyers’s Everywhere Babies.
One Little Two Little Three Little Children—an exuberant reinvention of the classic children’s rhymeis pure read-aloud, sing-along joy and an irresistible celebration of all kinds of children and families.
The kids on the cover are of varying skin tones, in modern clothing. Hmmm.... A "reinvention"? Does it succeed?

The Kirkus review says:
Facing this page is a trio of homes: “Snow-cozy, / stick-cozy, / brick-cozy houses,” and herein lies the rub: the igloo and teepee depicted here are juxtaposed with a child making a structure of building blocks, undermining efforts at multicultural inclusion by falsely equating these so-called “snow” and “stick” structures with toys. These depictions also bring to the forefront the text’s similarities to versions of the rhyme referring to “One little, / two little, / three little Indians” that have been roundly critiqued as racist, or, even more egregiously, other versions that use the n-word. The appearance of another teepee on the outskirts of the closing illustration is perplexing—is it a plaything like the soccer goals? Or just a visual balance for the ice cream truck? Or something else?
If it is intended to be "multicultural" I would guess that Native children are included, too, but are they? I think... not. That said, why try to reinvent this particular rhyme?! If I get this book, I'll be back.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Thanks much, Debbie! I look forward to your thoughts in an update to this if you're able to get a copy in the future. ~Andrea~