Lit Hub Recommends: Parasite, Roadhouse, and a Children’s Book About Marijuana | Literary Hub

I recommend Akashic Books’ upcoming children’s book It’s Just a Plant: A Children’s Story About Marijuana, written
and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés, which will of course be released on
April 20th. At first, when this came to the office, we thought it was a
joke book along the lines of Go The F*** To Sleep, but after
perusing its beautifully illustrated pages, I realized this book was
much more than a joke—it’s part of a growing category of books that
attempt to explain difficult and complex topics to children, simply.
Whether you’re looking at Death Is Stupid, by Anastasia Higginbotham, or A is for Activist, by
Innosanto Nagara, children’s fiction is much less likely to shy away
from topics that were previously reserved for those considered to be
“adults,” or to cloud those topics in euphemisms. These works are also
not meant to be consumed by the white, middle-class, sheltered, suburban
child that much of yesteryear’s kid lit pandered to; It’s Just a Plant includes
a section where several men of color are targeted by police for smoking
weed, only to have the police officer, ashamed of arresting them in
front of a child for breaking a law he doesn’t believe in, let them go
while assuring the child that laws change. Can we imagine that scene in a
children’s book in the 90s? I certainly can’t.