We all applauded – and wiped away tears from laughing, when Go the Fuck to Sleep hit the stands. Finally, a book that totally captured the zeitgeist of the frustrations and sheer exhaustion of parents everywhere when it came time to put a child to sleep and with a healthy dose of humour at that. And then the hilarious Fuck, Now There Are Two of You came out. But now, the illustrator, Ricardo Cortés, the #1 NYT best-selling illustrator of Go the Fuck to Sleep and PARTY – A Mystery has a new project called It’s Just A Plant and yes, it’s a book about weed. For kids.
But before we all flip out, let’s get the facts on this book.
According to the press release for this eyebrow-raising book, this is absolutely not a book that glorifies pot for little kids.
“No. It’s Just a Plant explicitly addresses the potential harm of drug abuse and insists that marijuana is not to be experimented with by children,” the press release says. “As with books that teach kids about sex, It’s Just a Plant encourages parents to explore the topic and children’s questions about it, all the while reminding them that trying “pot” is an experience for responsible adults.”
If we think about it out loud, this stance makes sense. Marijuana has been legalized in 11 states and is probably going to become legal in even more. So, with adults – including parents – using the drug, shouldn’t we get real about it and explain to kids just like we do other taboo subjects?
The press release asks a compelling question; should parents who don’t smoke pot bother reading this book to their kids? Yes, they argue, because it doesn’t matter if the parents partake; kids will eventually come in contact with weed and they should be armed with some facts before they start experimenting.
“The book is not about people who use marijuana or people who abstain (although it contains both); it’s about a plant that most children will encounter in their lives,” the statement reads. “Before they investigate on their own, we want to open channels of communication between children and all parents.”
As a parent of three kids, I am personally glad that a book like this exists. It gives me a chance to open a dialog with my children about marijuana in a way that doesn’t scare them, cast judgment on those who smoke, but also gives me the opportunity to set the tone for future conversations about how to deal with peer pressure to try pot (or drinking or sex or vaping or whatever) in the future. The fact is, kids who have parents who talk to them openly and respectfully about tough subjects are better able to navigate the chaos of the teen and young adult years. And for that reason, I am so here for this book.