Really Big Coloring Books

tea party

Really Big Coloring Books, Inc (RBCB) is an American publisher based in St. Louis, Missouri. The company develops, publishes and distributes children’s coloring and activity books, many of which are over two feet tall. Some of their products have been controversial due to their political content.

The company was established in 1981 by publisher Wayne Bell. The company is best known for its politically themed coloring books, covering subjects such as Barack Obama, the Tea Party Movement, and Occupy Wall Street.

The company gained national attention in 2008 by publishing the ‘Yes We Did – President Barack Obama Coloring and Activity Book’ listing the first ever such published book on Amazon.com. The coloring book, recommended for children, parents and educators was praised by many and denounced by some. Critics argued the book was a left wing brainwashing tool of the extreme liberal Democratic Party. Wayne Bell maintains that the book reflects the historic event of the USA’s first duly elected African American President.

The company again gained national attention in 2010 following their publishing of ‘The Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids.’ The coloring book, recommended for children aged two to five, contained passages reading ‘When taxes are too high, the high tax takes away jobs and freedom’ and ‘In 1773 we had a Tea Party and this led to freedom from high taxes. Today we are having another Tea Party and this will lead to freedom from high taxes again!’ Critics argued that the coloring book was not appropriate for children, and instead was more suitable for politically right-wing adults due to its positive references to the Tea Party. Wayne Bell has asserted that the intentions of the ‘The Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids’ are not political.

Really Big Coloring Books received notice once again in 2011 when the company published ‘We Shall Never Forget 9/11: The Kid’s Book of Freedom.’ The coloring book was released prior to the ten-year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and drew criticism from American Muslim groups for its representation of Muslims. The book contained references to ‘Radical Islamic Muslim Extremists’ ten times and text stating ‘some Muslim people believe the attacks were a conspiracy caused by Jews.’ The coloring book also asserted that the September 11th terrorist attacks ‘will change the way America deals with and views the Islamic and Muslim people around the world.’ Despite the controversy surrounding the book and its disputed suitability for children, the company claimed it was having trouble meeting demand for their product. In response to the controversy, the company stated that it has donated a portion of the profits from the coloring book to the non-profit organization Bridges for Peace.

In 2013, Bell published, ‘Being Gay Is Okay’ as an innovative coloring and activity book for children, adults and educators on gay life while introducing the ‘Fabulous Gay Sharing Cards’ of role models. Designed as an introduction to the diverse LGBT community and historry, ‘OUT Magazine’ reported: ‘Overall, the novel’s main message is that being gay is something to be celebrated and there is community, history and resources to be found in LGBTQ culture.’ Bell insisted on FOX News, ‘The book is about education, diversity and inclusion. Every part of the book is suitable for parents, educators and all children. There is nothing in the book about sex and there is no agenda, it is about reality through honest introduction of issues some people must face.’

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