In the musical South Pacific Lt. Joe Cable is a Philadelphia blueblood who has fallen in love with a Polynesian girl. As much as he loves Liat, he knows he could never marry her. He laments about bigotry in “You Have to Be Carefully Taught,” a song about how children learn from a very early age to hate and fear people who are different from them.
Hatred is not born in us; we’re taught it, often from a very early age. It’s passed along from generation to generation until we have no idea why we hate members of another race, religion, ethnic group, political party, sexual persuasion, or country. We just do. And taken to extremes, this hatred often becomes deadly. Hatred is what creates bullies, violence, wars, and terrorists.
The only way to combat hatred is to teach children not to hate. This can be a daunting task, but it’s one we all need to undertake if we’re ever going to find a way for people to get along with each other, no matter their differences.
To that end I wrote The Magic Paintbrush. Without being preachy, The Magic Paintbrush addresses the issue of differences, in this case, a kingdom that is all pink at war with a kingdom that is all blue for longer than anyone can remember—so long that no one even knows what started the feud. It takes two children from another land to point out to the rulers of both kingdoms how we're all really the same inside and the benefits to getting along.
With the holidays fast approaching The Magic Paintbrush would be a perfect gift for youngsters on your gift list. And maybe the adults will learn something, too. The book is suitable for readers eight years old and up to read on their own and can be read to younger children.
The Magic Paintbrush
When nine-year-old Jack and his seven-year-old sister Zoe are snowed in for days with nothing to do, their complaints land them in every guy’s worst nightmare—the kingdom of Vermilion, a land where everything is totally pink! At first Jack is mistaken for a spy from the neighboring kingdom of Cobalt, but Zoe convinces Queen Fuchsia that they’re from New Jersey and arrived by magic.
Queen Fuchsia needs a king, but all the available princes in Vermilion are either too short, too fat, too old, or too stupid. Jack and Zoe suggest she looks for a king in Cobalt, but Vermilion and Cobalt have been at war since long before anyone can remember. Jack and Zoe decide Vermilion and Cobalt need a Kitchen Table Mediation to settle their differences. So they set out on an adventure to bring peace to the warring kingdoms—and maybe along the way they just might find a king for the queen.