9/11 Coloring Book Is Dumbing Down Tragedy for Kids


9/11 Coloring BookHow old were you the last time you picked up a coloring book? I'm going to guess 6 or 7. Maybe 8 at the most. So why is a new coloring book meant to mark the 10-year anniversary of September 11 being packaged with a warning that any kid 10 or younger shouldn't be left alone with it?

We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids' Book of Freedom is loaded with graphic images, including a scene meant to show the death of Osama bin Laden, complete with a man holding a machine gun to the terrorist leader's head. Which your kids are supposed to color, of course. It sounds creepy. And adult.

But coloring books, by and large, are for little kids. My 6-year-old still loves to color pictures of Mickey Mouse and butterflies. She adds stickers and glitter. It's fun.

That's what coloring books are: fun.

September 11, to put it EXTREMLY mildly, isn't fun. It's a serious day in our nation's history. It's a tough one to talk about with our kids, and we need to find ways to bring it down to a kid-appropriate level.

But is a coloring book, synonymous with fun, really the right way to do it?

I don't know, and I'm having a really tough time with this one. I was just sent a copy of Art for Heart: Remembering 9/11, a moving book of images all drawn by kids in the wake of 9/11. It comes from a therapeutic art project sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to help kids in New York City recover from the tragedy. Art, it proved, can really help kids work through grief and pain and misunderstanding.

So why don't I feel the same way about this coloring book? Maybe it's the images already released -- like the picture of bin Laden with a gun to his head. I had to tell my 6-year-old why people were cheering a man's death a few months back. That was confusing enough. I don't think I could show her a picture of a man with a gun pointed at his head and say, "Hey, get out your favorite colors and have at it! Don't forget the glitter for the turban!"

Maybe that's it. Maybe that's the difference. Telling your child to create art that reflects their feelings comes without rules. It lets them do what they want. It allows them to treat a serious subject the way they see fit.

But a coloring book, by its nature, tells kids what to think and how to think it. You're supposed to color in the lines.

I won't be buying the 9/11 coloring book for my daughter. How about you?


Image via Coloring Books

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Boobo... Boobookittt74

Altho that is a huge moment in our history I see no reason why a child that young needs to know or try to understand the whole 9/11 thing anyway they will obviously learn all about it in later years in school at an appropriate time for their intellect. I think unless the child was directly affected like a family member losing their life in the tragedy then I can see why there would be a need for possible explanations and such .

dirti... dirtiekittie

Inappropriate, period. i don't care if every other page in that book is sunshine and rainbows - we can't sit here and preach about how violence is corrupting our kids, how it's being thrown at them at younger and younger ages, and then get behind a coloring book that depicts the murder of another person - even if he was a heinous monster. i don't see any reason for this coloring book to have even been made, unless it was never really intended for kids who actually use them!

Tracy A Swendsen

Inappropriate. Disrespectful and Uncalled for. From the first time she asked, I've been honest to her about the 911 tragedy. Just today we saw more pictures. I wouldn't let her see a coloring book, which would cartoonize the horrible history lesson. No.

Stephanie Wiltcher

no way.  i agree with dirtiekittie. we are introducing violence to our children younger and younger. having a picture with a soldier with a machine gun to osama bin ladens head? that is disgusting to me. and i will never buy that for my child. when the time comes, i will discuss the tragedy with him. i also find it disrespectful of the people who died from the tragedy

Lokis... LokisMama

When was the last time I picked up a coloring book?  Oh....a week or two ago (I'm 25).

I can see how the violence could be considered a bit over the top, but I'm personally not going to shelter my kids from things that happen in the world.  What's the old phrase?  Oh yeah.  "Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them."  Kids that are 8 or 9 or 10 were too little to know what happened (or weren't even born yet) during 9/11, but they've heard about it every year since they were old enough to comprehend.  And you can bet that they all heard about Osama Bin Laden's death. 

Tactless?  Totally.  But if that's the only way you're kid is going to learn or understand the 9/11 tragedy, then go for it.

kisse... kisses5050

 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot... this is in bad taste! wonder if the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum has a colouring book too? maybe I can teach my kids about the Crusade with a cool pop up book?

Drgndame Drgndame

Soo wrong i have friends in NY and they would flip out hearing about this. Just wrong and creepy it would not be so bad if it was Heros of 9/11 that would be cool with cops fire fighters emt s and so on and may a pic of the towers before the plane hit and the sun out. That would be nice but thats just creepy and wrong

Wish2Be Wish2Be

I disagree with its existance. Honestly why would someone create something like this ?

Hank Warren

Forget the sick 9/11 propaganda coloring book. Don’t waste your hard-earned money, instead read a BANNED 9/11 book like “America Deceived II” by a real rebel and the “World’s Most Hated Author”, E.A. Blayre III.
Last link (before Google Books bans it also]:

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