written by David Lamotte
illustrated by Jenn Hales
A few months ago, a friend was telling me about a concert that he attended (the day AFTER he attended it) and told me about this singer/songwriter, David Lamotte. To be fair, he might have invited me to go before hand but I’m sure that I was just too busy with something or other. But something about his telling me about the concert made me wish that for once, I would have gotten off my lazy but and gone.
Apparently, this Lamotte guy is not only a singer/songwriter, but a book author, public speaker, and according to his bio: “itinerant peace guy”. I’ll let you figure out what that means for yourself. My friend told me about this book, White Flour. It’s a picture book, written in simple rhyme and meter re-telling the true story of an awesome group of people who took a unique and creative approach to a disheartening situation.
It’s worth the 5-10 minute read and I don’t want to give it all away. It’s the story of the Coup Clutz Clown activists and how they refused to let the insanity and hate of a White Power parade overwhelm the determination of joy, love, and plain silliness. I wouldn’t say it’s Dr. Seuss, but the rhymes rarely sound overly forced and the story is propelled by the rhythm and cadence of the verses. The illustrations are whimsical and colorful and sure to help children of any age grasp understanding of the story. Historical events really need not be boring, folks!
As a 7th grade Literacy & Social Studies teacher, it is always difficult to know how to respond when students are understandably confused and struggle with understanding the attitudes and culture that would hate others based solely on race. I look forward to being able to share this triumphant story and give students a glimpse of how creativity, love, and kindness can overcome and disable the power of hate and intolerance.