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It's Just a Plant: A Children's Story about Marijuana Hardcover – February 5, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–It would be helpful to have a book explaining who uses the substance and why, possible reactions, responsibilities, and legal implications, but this picture book is not it. Jackie wakes up late at night and finds her parents smoking pot. They give a simple explanation and promise to talk to her about it the next day, which happens to be Halloween. The awkwardly drawn, full-page art shows Jackie and her mom in odd costumes riding their bikes to see the marijuana farmer, and then to a doctor who explains that some adults use the drug, but that children absolutely should not. When they pass some stores and the child recognizes the now-familiar sweet smell, she sees a group of African-American men smoking. Implausibly, they stop and explain some details about marijuana and hold still when the police arrive. Even more surprising is the officer who explains why the drug is illegal and that people are trying to change the laws; he then lets the young men go with a simple warning.–Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"I highly recommend this little book for students in D.A.R.E., other drug abuse prevention programs, and their teachers and parents. It's a jewel." ---Ethan Nadelmann Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance

"Funny.. offbeat... a riot, with a series of characters explaining the glory of cannabis to a young girl and her mother." 3 1/2 out of 4 Stars ---New York Post

"It doesn't really matter whether It's Just a Plant is what it seems to be -- a highly earnest and enthusiastic children's book about marijuana -- or a sh--s-'n'-giggles hoax, or a self-aggrandizing attempt to shock the bourgeosie. It is what it is: A beautifully-illustrated, hilariously multee-cultee children's book about the history, botany, (il)legality and potency of good old Mary Jane. ---The Valley Advocate --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617751863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617751868
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Goldberg on May 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
i am 20 years old and a product of the DARE program. when i first read this book, the only thing that went thru my mind is, "gee, this would have been a thousand times more helpful than the ever failed scare tactic." for those who have no clue what DARE taught my generation, you're not alone. i have no clue what i got out of DARE, except an uneducated police officer going on about how chalk dust from the black board looks like coke, and cartoons of bunnies on drugs that scared the s*** out of me. and today, i cannot say i know one person my age who hasn't smoked pot at least once.

now i'll tell you why i do not drink. because i was well informed what alcohol was and that although legal for parents, very bad for young growing minds. i always knew that, i knew it when i was 6, and it certainly didn't make me want to drink more. learning about pot the way i did only made me a million times more curious, because the information was so biased it lost its relevancy.

i think the best part about this book is its take on parenting. don't close the door on your child when they ask you the important questions, otherwise they'll have to find it out on their own eventually and there is no chance it will be to taught to them the way you wanted them to know it. make sure they have all the facts.

i think most of us can agree marijuana should be legal, atleast medicinally, and the prohibition of it is outdated and full of conspiracy. hemp is our greatest crop, it can be made into just about any kind of product. imagine how many trees we could have saved if the paper industry just backed off.
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Format: Paperback
the plot behind this book is basically stated in the title, it's attempting to get rid of the boogeyman stories surrounding marijuana because it's just a plant. this little girl goes around and learns about marijuana, what it is, where it comes from (a plant, grown by a farmer like other plants), a history about it, a doctor's perspective and so on. it isn't promoting marijuana or encouraging children to use it, as i would suppose would be one of the first suppositions to pop into one's head when they hear about a book like this, in fact there's even a part in the book where some guys get arrested for using marijuana. it's purpose is to help educate children on just what marijuana is.

i think this book is beneficial because people fear what they are ignorant of and people abuse the forbidden. as an example, when i was younger, probably around 5 or 6, my nonno would put a few drops of wine in my sprite at dinner time. alcohol was never forbidden to me and if i wanted some all i had to do was ask (of course i wasn't given a whole lot, but it's the principle that's important). as a result of this alcohol was never a big deal to me as it was to some of my friends and while they were getting pissed drunk at 13, i would drink an appropriate amount so as to not even get dizzy or abstain all together. the point of the story is that the forbidden is very attractive, and while we all know this, this knowledge isn't put to good use very often. of course there must be forbidden things, that comes with having even an inkling of some sort of morality, which even the most 'amoral' person is guilty of possessing, but to make forbidden something that need not be so is foolish in my eyes.
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Format: Hardcover
A very good book and a counterweight to the government's incessant propaganda and lies about this useful plant. The book is a breath of fresh air after the relentless scare tactics of the drug warriors. I recommend it for giving children an enlightened and truthful view on marijuana, although the book will not sit well with the drug war fanatics who prefer lies and scare stories.
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Format: Paperback
As a teacher, my estimation is that children above age 8 should be able to understand the message of the book. The book provides a simple way to broach a difficult conversation between medical marijuana using parents and their children.

The main character in the text gets a realistic perspective on marijuana including exposure to marijuana legal issues, medical usage, and industrial (Hemp) usage examples.

As this is the only book today that boldly presents this subject matter to children, the book deserves a 5 star rating; however the fictional story & character development are simply average for children books.

Other suggestions for the rewrite: Spend more time focussing on the industrial uses of Hemp. Hemp is an earth-friendly product that can produce over 50,000 products that we use daily including paper, cloth, protein powders for famine infested regions, deisel fuel, and many others. Hemp (Cannabis Sativa; Marijuana), having been used and developed for thousands of years, has only been out of the hands of most humans for the last 100 years. Emphasis should be placed on what we are missing, an earth-friendly way to produce many products that are currently costing our planet lives as we struggle to avoid a plant that is truly one of God's purest blessings.
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Format: Paperback
We live in a pretty liberal community and have a very diverse circle of friends. Ultimately, children will be exposed to marijuana. This book is a fantastic tool to help parents talk to their children and gives an option other than teaching "it's wrong." The book is very educational, without overwhelming technical information. I would highly recommend it.
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