Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Kelly DiPucchio and Mary Lundquist's one little two little three little children arrived today. You may recall I wrote about it recently in my "Debbie--have you seen" series. Published by Balzer & Bray (an imprint of HarperCollins) in 2016, it is definitely going onto my not recommended list.

Based on the Kirkus review, I was wary of the book. Here's one page that the Kirkus review referenced:

And I concur with Kirkus's reviewer. Having that "snow-cozy" igloo and that "stick-cozy" _____ on the same page as a child playing with blocks is a misstep. Kirkus called that stick-cozy item a teepee and on Twitter I said tipi, but in retrospect, I was wrong to call it a tipi. It isn't a tipi. It is a THING. A toy. Just like the ones you see at department stores. In fact, I look at that "stick cozy" and think that Lundquist might have used one of the department store items as a model for her "stick-cozy." See?

Then, Lundquist put that "stick-cozy" over in the park, too, where everyone is playing. Why? So they can.... play Indian?! Course, I don't see anyone in feathers but it isn't a big leap to imagine kids doing that very thing.

DiPucchio's text is, the synopsis says, an "exuberant reinvention of the classic children's rhyme." An adult reading the book aloud can "sing" it using that "one little, two little, three little..." tune. You know which one it is.

The Kirkus reviewer wonders if this is meant to be a multicultural book. I think they're right. The families/couples shown on the pages include this one, which is great.

Overall, though, I think it is one of those books that throws Native peoples under the bus. It asks us to celebrate multiculturalism using a racist tune as we gaze at illustrations that infantilize a Native structure.

There's absolutely no reason for this. None. I do not recommend DiPucchio and Lundquists "exuberant reinvention" of the racist "One little two little three little Indians" rhyme and hope you reject it, too.

1 comment:

Queen Aulia said...

Hello. Thank you for this review. So important to me. My sister has just bought this DiPucchio's for me (as a gift) in the Big Bad Wolf book fair in my city (Surabaya, Indonesia). The book was sealed and looks nice, my sister bought it just because she knows I write for children. She thinks the colorful illustrations would inspire me. But we're surprised with a picture of two-daddy family inside; something that still unaccepted in our country. I then searched for online reviews on this book. And here I am reading your post. Not only the LGBT-hidden message, but racist content is important to be aware of