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November 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
A Rule Is to Break: A Child’s Guide to Anarchy
John Seven and Jana Christy. Manic D (Consortium, dist.), $14.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-933149-25-7
Many children’s books encourage self-expression and free thought; few take those ideas as far as this collaboration from Seven and Christy, the duo behind The Ocean Story (2011). “The oppositeof rules is anarchy!” opens the book as a blue-haired girl leaps naked across the page. Various ways to insert a little anarchy into one’s life follow. “Don’t look like everybody else! Be you,” Seven writes as the girl sews a devil costume for herself. Anticommercial sentiments run through several scenes (“Paint pictures on your TV! Forget about grocery stores and get dirty in your garden!”), and even adult readers taken aback by lines like “When someone says ‘Work!’, you say Why?” and “No baths ever again!” will be able to get behind suggestions to “Educate yourself. Use your brain” and “Listen to the tiniest voice.” This is the softer side of anarchy, with an emphasis on fun and independence, but also community and kindness. Seven and Christy’s heroine wouldn’t look out of place in a Peter H. Reynolds story, and their message isn’t far from his work either—it’s just been cranked up to 11. Ages 4–up. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2012 Publishers Weekly