“We are re-releasing our [coloring] books on terrorism,” announced Wayne Bell, founder of the St. Louis-based publisher Really Big Coloring Books, in a video statement this week.
“[Our books] tell the truth, they tell it often, and they tell the children,” he continued. “These are books that actually explain what’s going on today…We’re trying to educate the country on these animals, these brutal people, these terrible humans on the planet called ISIS, these terrorists.”
It’s rare that you find a company with a name as delightfully fitting and obvious as Really Big Coloring Books. And in addition to titles like Superheroes of the Bible and the Fairies & Princesses, the publisher dabbles in political—and sometimes controversial—coloring materials for kids. Their September 11th coloring book “We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kids’ Book of Freedom,” published in 2011, was slammed as anti-Muslim propaganda and “disaster porn” aimed at small children.
Bell and his company have tried, unsuccessfully, to convince the Department of Education to include these political coloring books in public-school curricula. And for printing these books, Bell says he’s received his share of death threats—and even claims to have recently received an angry email from someone working in the Obama White House (“You asshole, you must be fucking joking to publish such trash,” the email, which Bell declined to provide to the Beast, allegedly reads.)
Now, with the horrific threat of the Islamic State growing in Syria and Iraq, Bell’s company is reissuing its two terrorism coloring books with supplemental pages containing a “Terror Update on Global Jihad” that covers ISIS and other issues.
“These pages are pretty dramatic,” Bell told The Daily Beast. “There’s one that shows the crucifixion of some of the Christians [by ISIS]…It comes with definite warning…These books are not for the backpacks of kindergarten children. They are made for children, but with adult supervision.”
Really Big Coloring Books provided the Beast with images of a couple of the as-yet unreleased supplements. The first, as Bell said, depicts a crucifixion.
“This is what ISIS wants to bring to America and its people,” the page reads. “What are you going to do when they come for you?”
The second shows the five Taliban detainees released in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. “Obama administration broke the law by freeing 5 Taliban terrorists,” the page reads. “Back to the battlefield.”
Bell says there are more Really Big Coloring Books on the topic of Islamic terrorism on the way.
“This is important for people in the US,” Bell says. “They don’t understand, they don’t have pictorials to show children…It’s a delicate topic, and…it needs to be explained in black-and-white. This is happening overseas, not here. But it could happen here…So that’s why we’re making them.”
The publisher will release images of the new supplements online soon, likely over the long Labor Day weekend.