Actress, producer and mother of two Kristen Bell releases her new kids’ book, The World needs More Purple People. Bell co-wrote the book with friend and parent Benjamin Hart. They had one goal in mind — inclusivity. “We wanted to give kids a roadmap and social identity that looks towards sameness,” she tells Yahoo Entertainment.
The actress decided to make her debut book a children's book, so that adults and kids can read it together. “It was a way to hit both demographics and just create a reminder for everyone of what good people are, and how easy it is to become one,” she explains.
KRISTEN BELL: I know there are a fair amount of you out there that are still convinced I can't read or write. And to you, I want to say in your face, I wrote a children's book.
We wanted to give kids a roadmap of social identity that looks towards sameness. So we like to say that purple people come in every color. We tried to make that banner really, really large to incorporate everyone. But a purple person uses their voice to help, not only themselves, but to help other people.
And between my co-writer Ben and I, we have a five-year-old, a seven-year-old, an eight-year-old, and an 11-year-old. And they've all given it the thumbs up now that it has illustrations. And that's when we sent it to print. We wrote it as a children's book for a very specific reason. If you write an adult book, only the adults read it.
But if you write a children's book, there's a high probability the adult is either going to hear it or be reading it to the child. So as a way to hit both demographics and just create a reminder for every one of what good people are and how easy it is to become one, I think it's really, really important to let your kids ask you questions and answer them responsibly and honestly.
So we've been really honest about our kids. They understand germs and washing their hands and why we can't see grandma and grandpa for a while. And I think the scientific information that we showed them has helped ease their fears a little bit. What's worked for me is being gentle-- just be gentle with yourself, be gentle with your kids, be gentle with your spouse, be gentle with your family members.
I'm very lucky that I have young kids, and I can still accomplish the math that they're showing me. But some days, I throw it out the window. And I say, let's just roller skate in the driveway today. It's OK to prioritize your health and your happiness. If you miss a day of home school, it's OK. Just be gentle with each other.
This is a perfect storm, this pandemic, for a co-dependent like me, because all of a sudden, every hair on my body stands on end. And I go, I have to provide for everyone. My nurturer was exhausted. And so I said, just pick one thing that's just for you that has no outcome for anyone else. And I picked knitting.
And I was a mild knitter before for many years where I could make scarves. But I chose to make a sweater. And I've only made-- where is it? I think I have it. I've only made about this much of it. But-- and I've had to unravel it three times because I made the wrong type of stitch. But the whole point is-- oh, here, I have it. I have it.
OK, so this is my sweater. I've learned how to use a tally. I've learned how to use stitch markers. It's not a very big sweater. By 2030, this will be a human-sized sweater. But my point is, this doesn't mean anything to anyone else but me. And it never will. And that's why it's my self care. It is just for me and my sense of accomplishing it. And that's been incredibly soothing for me.