Katharine DeBrecht is the conservative children’s book author behind a series of “Help! Mom!” books written to help traditional parents teach their children about what she sees as the dangers of liberalism.
Why a children’s book?
I chose my “Help! Mom!” books basically as a way to balance what I believe is being thrown at our children on a daily basis. In the schools you have “Heather Has Two Mommies,” “Rainbow Fish,” “King and King,” in addition to what’s on television and in movies. I wanted the “Help! Mom!” books to be a way to balance that. I use humor in the books, both adult and child humor, so parents can laugh right along with their kids while they’re sitting down reading the book and hopefully have a good discussion.
What about books that explain gay and lesbian lifestyles such as “King and King”?
I think it’s up to the individual parent. Obviously, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I believe that you should allow me as a parent to define how I am going to expose my children to gay marriage or other issues. It shouldn’t be exposed to the children without parents’ knowledge. Parents should be able to teach their children their values.
How do you feel about Obama’s September “Back to School” speech?
Well, there were two things that bother me about that. I think there was a bit of an agenda there, especially when the questions came out. The middle school and high school questionnaire was basically like a focus group questionnaire like “What do you think the president is doing?” or “How can you help him?” I think that was a bit disingenuous.
If the president of the United States wants to speak into classrooms, that’s fine. Let the parents have the opportunity to opt out. Also, like I said, I think there was an agenda there with the questions and the exercises, but I think they kind of turned that down after there was enough war.
It wasn’t so much him speaking into the classrooms. Although I think if Bush had done it in a way that he had, they would have been just screaming on the Left. But again I think it was more of the exercises and basically just going, “OK, this is going to be done” without a lot of parents given the opportunity to opt out.
So global warming is a really hot political issue lately. Do you believe it’s a real concern?
I think it’s all hype, and I think the “climate-gate” scandal really shows that. I think it’s really basically a money-making thing for a group of people, especially Al Gore or any of those that have the interest. They’ve made millions of dollars in that industry. I think it’s a shame that, from what I’ve seen in the textbooks we don’t teach children that on the other side there are skeptics.
I think we should teach children the basic scientific method, which hasn’t been used in global warming, as opposed to saying, “OK, because bunch of people think this way, it must be true.” I think that’s a terrible method to teach to kids, especially with kids having to deal with peer pressure.
As a conservative woman, would you like to see Sarah Palin seeking the Presidency any time in the future?
I think she’d be a great candidate. They talk about her lack of experience, but I think she has more experience than president Obama. He has just been a senator, a state senator and then just a senator for a short amount of time, when she’s been an executive as a governor and as a mayor. I think she’s a very inspiring figure.
What age group are these books aimed at?
Obviously I have the adult characters in there, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and all the usual suspects. That’s for the adult humor so parents can laugh along with their kids. I’d say it’s for ages 1 to 92. What I mean by that is that it’s basically nice for parents to sit down with their kids and laugh and enjoy and learn a great lesson.
I hear a lot of people who believe in the same values that I do about the American dream who are very upset about what’s happening in this country. So for that age group, all the way up to 92 or even 102, I think that these books are a great way to relieve stress. You can’t be upset all the time or worried or scared. You need to have a little bit of humor in your life to just keep yourself grounded.
Do you have any plans for future books?
I do. I think with “Help! Mom! Radicals Are Ruining My Country,” I touched on some of it, and I really think there’s more out there. Especially in the unprecedented times we live in right now.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Well, just one thing I want to say. Most people accuse me of indoctrinating children. My books teach self-reliance, hard work, values, the American dream, liberty and freedom. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with telling children that you are growing up in the greatest country in the world and you have every opportunity to achieve your dreams as long as you work hard and play by the rules. I don’t think I would want my children to learn that you can’t accomplish anything without the government’s help because basically when the government gets involved it messes everything up.