Misleading Blurbs

Sep 04, 2011

image0A colouring book setting out to explain 9/11 to kids is obviously walking a mine field of every variety, but looking at the site what I found most bizarre was the media excerpt section - Take this quote from the New Yorker:

Most of the children in elementary schools today were born after September 11, 2001, and this presents parents with a dilemma: How do you explain the event to a child who has no first-hand knowledge of it? As the ten-year anniversary approaches, parents worrying about how to handle the subject can breathe a sigh of relief.

Which might be taking small liberties with original intent:

Most of the children in elementary schools today were born after September 11, 2001, and this presents parents with a dilemma: How do you explain the event to a child who has no first-hand knowledge of it? As the ten-year anniversary approaches, parents worrying about how to handle the subject can breathe a sigh of relief. Skip the complexity and just hand them a new coloring book, “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom,” that explains all—and, to cite just one example of the tastelessness (as seen above), gives kids the opportunity to color in a member of SEAL Team Six taking aim at a veiled woman and, cowering just behind her, Osama bin Laden himself.

Now clipping down negative reviews to positive sentences has a long and proud tradition but the excerpt from the Chicago Tribune is even stranger:

Bell said the book is mild compared with the graphic video games children play or even footage of the attacks that shows people plunging from the World Trade Center towers.
"It's a generic black-and-white coloring book with tender language for the children and their parents," Bell said. "It's designed as a teaching and learning tool, and it's a memorial tribute to the families of 9/11."

The eagle-eyed will note that quote is entirely made up of an interview with Bell himself.

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