Red is Best is fictional, but it is not a story as there is no plot. Red is Best is a biographical opinion piece that projects a theme of independent judgment by a child.
By introspecting, Kelly enumerates her reasons for preferring red, as a means of achieving certainty. We can excuse and allow that some of Kelly’s reason’s for preferring red entail childish misconceptions. For example, she thinks “I can jump higher in my red stockings” (psychological effects notwithstanding). But it is not so important that the reasons should be exactly logical. What is important is Kelly’s introspection and enumerative method. It is by reminding oneself of, and reconsidering, one’s reasons for a decision that one restores ones own confidence. This is a sound psychological practice to instill in a child.
It is worth noting here that one’s opinions on personal matters are often described as “subjective”, but this does not mean they are arbitrary. They can be quite objective, within the individual’s context of personal taste. Kelly’s process of objectifying her judgment sets an excellent example for young readers, and it’s fun!
We also see factors at work by which a child learns confidence and happiness. Her self esteem arises from the increasing certainty of her judgment. This is radically different from the self esteem promoted by modern education and popular child psychology. Their claim that a child develops self esteem through the love of parents, teachers, and others, only puts children at the mercy of others. Kelly clearly has no such problem; her Mom is simply wrong about red. But please note, her Mom does not ridicule Kelly’s choice.
Without a typical plot or climax, Red is Best would receive a lower VM score than it deserves. VM has scored it on the premise that its plot is Kelly’s argument and its climax is whether her conclusion is warranted, as in an opinion piece. With its argument and concomitant theme of a natural relationship between independent judgment and happy confidence, we believe this book will be seen as a constructive and fun addition to your home library.