“This book is dedicated to everyone who has ever felt left out. May there always be a place for you in this world.”
If Mother Goose were alive today, what would her poetry sound like? Author and coloring enthusiast, Jacinta Bunnell, believes the matriarch of nursery rhymes’ goal would be to reflect life as it is genuinely lived. In MG’s absence, Bunnell has created a world of girls, boys, monsters and more, who resist traditional gender roles and behaviors.
The result is adorable, hilarious and just plain brilliant.
In her third creation, Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with another Spoon, the witty author, along with collaborating partner, Nathaniel Kusinitz, has crafted a thoughtful alternative to the usual coloring book imagery that’s appropriate for kids of all ages.
Similar to her previous works, Spoon’s text offers a unique and playful response to the limiting constructs of gender. One page shows a little girl in pearls and a dinosaur t-shirt looking over a to-do list that includes such task as “Fix carburetor in truck” and “End war,” and on another a little boy is dressed in Wonder Woman’s costume with a caption suggesting “Not every little boy wants to be Superman when he grows up.” But, as the title suggests, Spoon also pays specific attention to non-traditional relationships. A princess leaning in to kiss a frog pleads in a thought bubble for another princess and, on my favorite page, a wedding cake topped with two brides proudly states “Marriage is so gay.”
Some kids will be too young to fully process the feminist subversion in Bunnell’s text but the illustrations by Kusinitz personify the messages while remaining kid-friendly and crayon ready. As entertaining as it is educational, Bunnell’s work provides a space that invites both parents and children to begin a conversation about identity, individuality and ultimately, acceptance.
Learn more here.