Current events have made people want books on race, being open and being different. Two books that are going to be big sellers from these categories are Kristen Bell’s The World Needs More Purple People and You Matter by Christian Robinson.
Bell’s book is a “celebrity book” (in other words a bit indulgent). Yet there is a nice message to it. And, while it is a bit obvious what the point is and where it is going, it is not overly preachy. It just “is what it is” and that is okay. This book speaks of how you can be a Purple Person (as opposed to being a Purple People Eater) by having our narrator showing all the steps it takes so you too can become a part of the Purple People of the world. And it is not as hard as it might seem. Bell, along with Benjamin Hart and illustrator Daniel Wiseman, maps out your journey in easy to follow steps. Not only is this a funny book, with a modern tone and theme, it has classic kid humor: Grandma’s page is riiiiiight up a kid’s alley! It deals with snot…. This is a book that shows diversity with a child’s innocence and humor, but not is not childish. The colors and art also show this theme. They are happy, bright, flashy, use of modern technology making them “clean.”
You Matter is an interesting book. However, I think it would work best as a board book. It has that “feeling” of being a lap sized board book. One where you can cozy up to the listener and just “get to it.” Honestly, I’m not a big fan of Christian Robinson’s art, but I like how they work with the text. It is different from the other books out there, so it will be perfect for the right reader. (Why I love books. There is literally something for everyone and everyone for something!) The story tells you all the ways that one matters. It is a simple but positive message. It is not flashy. There is not a lot happening in the way of traditional action or a traditional story, it is more a narrator speaking to you, but it could work well for a graduation gift for a younger child. It also could work for an adult who might be going through a rough patch. Each reader will experience this book on their own personal level.
Either title works well in today’s current climate while having some staying power.