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A Rule Is to Break: A Child's Guide to Anarchyby John Seven and Jana Christy
Synopses & Reviews
Simply celebrating childhood: the joy, the wonder of discovery, the spontaneity, and strong emotions.... Wild Child is free to do as she pleases. A Rule Is To Break: A Child's Guide to Anarchy follows Wild Child as she learns about just being herself and how that translates into kid autonomy. It presents the ideas of challenging societal expectations and tradition and expressing yourself freely in kid-terms that are both funny and thought provoking — it even functions as a guidebook for adults to understand what it is to be a critically thinking, creative individual. Wild Child is the role model for disobedience that is sometimes civil.
"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 opposite of 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.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A Rule Is To Break says: Go ahead and throw your best self a party! So glad it exists." Kristin Hersh, Throwing Muses
"After encountering the lively little anarchist in John and Jana's delightful A Rule is To Break, I will always remember the playful little devil with a mind of her own. A children's book on anarchy seems somehow just right: an instinctive, intuitive sense of fairness, community, and interdependence sits naturally enough with a desire for participatory democracy, self-determination, and peace and global justice." Bill Ayers, author of To Teach: The Journey in Comics and Fugitive Days
In a world with too many rules, Wild Child is free to be herself, doing and learning as she pleases.
About the Author
John and Jana found success in comics with their book Very Vicky. In 2003, their illustrated family travelogue, Four Go Mad in Massachusetts, was published by Commonwealth Editions. Most recently, John and Jana collaborated on two picture books, Happy, Sad, Silly, Mad: My World Makes Me Feel (Andrews McMeel, 2009), and The Ocean Story (Picture Windows, 2011), which won Creative Child magazine's 2011 Creative Child Award Seal of Excellence and was short-listed for the 2012 Green Earth Book Award. A board book for the under-five crowd, A Year With Friends, is forthcoming from Abrams in 2012.
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