It’s now become a political argument that Pizza Hut is too woke. Why you ask? Because the chain is encouraging kids ages pre-K through 6th grade to read books. Pizza Hut is partnered up with Book It!, a reading program for homeschool teachers, classroom teachers and libraries.
The most recent one was called “Big Wig,” and told the story of a young boy who loves drag. Some people are very angry about the content, and are calling for a boycott of the restaurant. The comments on the program’s Facebook page are pretty terrible.
The author shared this post online. He seems to be keeping a good sense of humor about it.
The book was featured as a selection for June, which is Pride Month. It’s not just about a kid in drag, but about the confidence one has when putting on a costume. The costume can be anything; a big wig, or even a lion can transport a child into a land of make-believe. But conservatives are balking at the fact that this might be dangerous for children.
Weird Hill to Die on, But Ok
It’s not the first time a group of people have been upset over something so silly. It’s just books, but to them, books sell kids on ideas. There are parents who encourage their kids to figure things out for themselves, these parents aren’t them. These are the type of people who get angry about kids liking things they don’t. And also probably the ones who voted for Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Pizza Hut is only suggesting the books, not providing them. If they were putting these in every pizza order, that might be a bit much. But lightly suggesting a topic and a book to read? I don’t see the issue. It seems like a weird hill to die on seeing as they also have plenty of other books listed to choose from. Things from “Smitten With Kittens” to “Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon.”
It’s Not New
Kids have been participating in the Pizza Hut Book It! program since 1984. Pizza Hut offers free, one-topping personal pan pizzas for Book It! certificates. So when kids read, they earn certificates which can be used for pizza. It’s a great motivator and not unlike the reading programs that libraries have over the summer where you log your books.