Children are playing active parts in today’s demonstrations, marching and holding signs—or sleeping soundly in their carriages.
This picture-book manual provides friendly instructions on attending marches, many of which (but not all) have become peaceful, intergenerational outings. The afterword mentions issue-based protests (for women’s suffrage, civil rights, marriage equality, and others) that have sometimes led to violent outcomes, but there are no references to the possibility of aggression or arrest. Despite this idealization, the book’s message will speak to families involved in contemporary demonstrations concerning today’s issues: women’s rights, equality for immigrants and other identity groups, peace, and the environment. (There is no mention of gun control.) Four families, one white, one brown-skinned, one Asian, and one interracial family with two dads, are featured in the cheerful, naïve illustrations, which follow the kids as they create signs at home, travel to the march, listen to the speakers (“it’s possible this part will get boring”), and march. Practical advice includes “know your address and phone number.” There’s a double-page spread with smiling police officers of different skin tones and genders “to keep people safe”—an assertion that many in minority communities may not find particularly credible or reassuring.
Although the signs and chants may speak mostly to “blue” families and hard truths are elided, this introduction tries hard to present a neutral point of view, encouraging everyone to participate in appropriate political action. (Informational picture book. 6-9)