Over the last year an enormous amount of Donald Trump artwork emerged as the world grappled with the most remarkable US election to date.
There were Trump colouring-in books for adults, anti-Trump pins and badges, Trump’s angry head floating in space splattered the covers of Der Spiegel magazine, and even that painting of a completely nude Trump we all eventually got used to, but this probably has to be the best yet – a book that explains Trump to children.
Its release couldn’t have come at a better time really – on the eve of the presidential inauguration, as Mr Trump pledges to unify America and “do things that haven’t been done for our country for many, many decades”.
Whatever that particular change may be remains to be seen, but in the meantime New York digital production company the Studio, along with creative agency barrettSF, have created a delightful yet terrifying satirical explanation of what happened in 2016 that will make sense to children.
Using tongue-and-cheek to simplify a complex situation in a manner similar to Miriam Ella’s spoof Ladybird books, The Pumpkin and the Pantsuit is what they came up with – a cautionary tale “based on a true story” of two big personalities who run against each other for the “big white house”.
Inspired by Pantsuit Nation, Hillary Clinton’s caricature is indeed an anthropomorphic powder-blue pantsuit that stands tall against a pompous, very, very orange, pumpkin.
The Pantsuit embodies Michelle Obama’s mantra “when they go low, we go high” – a battle cry during the final days of the election.
The storyline follows the pursuit of both the Pantsuit and Pumpkin to live in the big white house. But even though it was so big, there was only room for one. It was up to the people of the land to decide which one it would be.
Although the Pantsuit didn’t win, she had inspired little pantsuits to believe one day it could be one of them living in the big white house.
Illustrations include caricatures of celebrities that endorsed Hillary Clinton, and those that endorsed Donald Trump. See how many you can spot.
Co-author and creative director at barrettSF Todd Eisner says a question on election night from American commentator Van Jones' resonated with him - “how do we explain this election to our kids?”
Van Jones’ comments were also in the mind of the Studio founder Mary Nittolo when she took on the project.
“We teach our children that respect for others is tantamount to being not only a good person but a smart one. Toni Morrison said it best; ‘This is precisely the time when artists go to work—not when everything is fine, but in times of dread. That’s our job.”
You can purchase The Pumpkin and the Pantsuit from Amazon and independent booksellers for just under £10. All proceeds will be donated to The Children’s Defence Fund – a non-profit organisation that aims to end child poverty and to provide a level playing field for all children.