cover image The World Needs More Purple People

The World Needs More Purple People

Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart, illus. by Daniel Wiseman. Random House, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-12196-2

“Purple is a magic color made when red and blue work together,” writes actor Bell and creative director Hart. Though those too young to know what the hues stand for on the U.S. political map may be a little puzzled by this asserted binary, the authors forge ahead with their kid narrator Penny, an expert and guide to living the purple life. She offers pointers that include being open and curious about the world (“My dad says PURPLE people ask great questions”), making time to laugh (“at donkey dances and hairy elephant knees”), and getting involved (“PURPLE work is the kind of work that’s done together to change something that needs changing”). Vignette cartoons by Wiseman (My Brother the Duck) portray Penny’s interactions with good-natured grown-ups (she and Grandma giggle over a booger joke) and eager school friends (who use their voices to agitate for more playgrounds); the straightforward images are cheery and bright, with few details or asides that invite lingering. Though the political message may fly under the radar, this book serves as a pep talk for contentious times by caring adults who want a nicer world—and that is no small thing. Ages 3–7. [em](June) [/em]