9-11 Coloring Book

The cover of a coloring book labeled: A Scary Thing Happened. A drawing depicts the World Trade Center being hit by planes, and other scenes of a tornado and a car crash.

You’re looking at the cover of a coloring book that, until recently, was available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency website. You can grab it here thanks to the Smoking Gun website which has the story.

A sweet old grandmother made a coloring book for a Minnesota crisis response team in 2003. FEMA thought it would make a nice addition to its website.

The book’s controversial coloring page features a sadist’s wet dream of sitting at home watching the Twin Towers explode on live television while also watching them explode through your living room window and also looking at pictures of them exploding in a newspaper held in your lap.

The book also contains scenes of a house surrounded by flood waters, a tornado about to strike a child who is wearing a “good kid award,” a family fleeing a house fire, and a look back at the flooded house to see kids sitting on the roof, in tree limbs and on the top of a vehicle in an effort to avoid drowning. And there’s the instant classic: a girl clutching her teddy bear looking (presumably) up to God and asking, “Why?”

Drawing your nightmares is apparently therapy for kids. I don’t debate that point. But, uhh, why not just give kids a blank piece of paper, some crayons and a little direction? What they choose to draw on their own will surely be more telling than trying to interpret their color selections for a coloring book.


2 Responses to “9-11 Coloring Book”

  1. Stephanie says:

    I work down the street from FEMA… they don’t get it. They really don’t get it. I guess planning for disasters is so commonplace in DC, they don’t realize that this just revives the trauma over and over again. I’m with you… if a kid has issues, a blank piece of paper and the opportunity to express it would be best.

    May 1st, 2009 at 7:11 am

  2. Allison says:

    Oh dear FSM! That coloring book is going to give ME nightmares. I’m certainly not going to hand it to my child.

    I think you are right on with the idea of a blank piece of paper and crayons. It is very important to acknowledge and discuss your child’s fears with them but this coloring book seems more like trying to supply them with our fears!

    May 1st, 2009 at 10:31 am

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