Saturday, May 31, 2014

Why Daddy Serves His Country

A great book for military
families, except for one thing.
At the BookExpo America yesterday I saw this coloring book for kids and thought it would be great for military families. Why Daddy Serves His Country is patriotic and provides valuable historical information on wars in which American soldiers were in harm's way.

The illustrations by Scott Novzen are appropriate and appear to be easy to color.

The book includes cute stories that bring home the difficulties that veterans come back from war having to face. My personal favorite story is about ancestors of the book's author, Major R. Scott ("Scotty") Price, Retired, who served from 1978 to 1992 in the field artillery and other branches of the U.S. Army:
Brothers Edward and John Reese fought on opposite sides: one for the North and the other for the South. ... Both brothers survived the four years of war but each lost a leg, Edward his right one and John his left. After the war they became very close again and, as luck would have it, they both had the same shoe size. So each year they would take the train to Richmond together and buy a pair of shoes. 
I think the book is charming and very suitable for military families...

Along with the coloring books for kids, this is for sale.
However, I have a problem. The last page of the book advertises four other coloring books, "Machine Gun Inventors," "Machine Guns of World War I", "Machine Guns of World War II", and "Famous People with Their Firearms". This is understandable, since the coloring books are all published by a business that caters to gun enthusiasts, which also produces gun magazines like the Small Arms Review.

For me, the issue is whether the coloring books, especially as a group of four, create the idea that guns are the way to solve problems.

If your reaction is that I must be crazy in thinking this, take a look at the T shirt that is being sold on the website and think about the number of young people who have in recent years decided that their social problems are best dealt with by killing a bunch of innocent people in a classroom or a restaurant or somewhere else in their community.

So there you are. A good book for kids, unless you are concerned that the source of the book advertises a T shirt that promotes the idea that having a gun nearby is a good way to solve problems that come up. What is the impact on kids of this message?

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