Brown-skinned, blonde haired, bi-racial Paris, is an anomaly in the world of children’s books despite the fact that a report released in 2012 says:
“More than 7 percent of the 3.5 million children born in the year before the 2010 Census were of two or more races, up from barely 5 percent a decade earlier. The number of children born to black and white couples and to Asian and white couples almost doubled.”
It’s 2015. I couldn’t find current statistics, but I’m willing to bet that numbers have only increased. All eight of my nieces and nephews have a similar look to Paris so it was refreshing to find relatable imaging. I'm of the ilk that the most important thing is a solid narrative and loveable characters, but I am also deeply invested in the truth that all children should have robust representation in every industry. They should have the option to see themselves as hero’s and villains, best friends, astronauts, and so on without having to dig like an archaeologist.
Even in the heart cracking moments there was such an ease and grace about the delivery of The Road to Paris. The poetic devises used in this narrative were done with such mastery that I couldn’t help but smile with recognition that I had missed out on this genius work for ten years (published in 2006 with several honors to claim). I guess that’s the magic of the written word, it's always living, moving, and breathing, waiting for a fresh set of eyes to be inspired enough to share it with another pair of fresh eyes.
One of the universal lessons in The Road To Paris is that it's wise to take people as they come. This has been a philosophy of mine for some time now. It's paramount to understand the truth that people are just people; we come in all shapes and sizes, different skin tones, different beliefs, and ways of being. To prefer a person because they look more like you is a set up for disappointment. I can’t tell you how many cool people and experiences I would've missed out on had I been raised prejudice or adopted narrow-minded viewpoints along my journey. Unfortunately, Paris has to learn this lesson unexpectedly on a day when her heart is open and her outlook is bright. But fortunately, she has a mentor who teaches her to love “duck by duck” and she meets a friend that proves that philosophy to be true.
If you have'nt already, I hope that you will introduce yourself and your readers to this delightful story.
You can purchase The Road To Paris here: