Both of Kristen Bell's daughters (Delta, 5, and Lincoln, 7) gave her "the thumbs up" after reading her new kids' book, The World Needs More Purple People

By Sam Gillette
May 12, 2020 03:30 PM
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Kristen Bell
| Credit: Gage + Betterton

Kristen Bell may have had to reevaluate how she's homeschooling her daughters — but she's confident her new kids' book, The World Needs More Purple People, will be a hit.

In an exclusive interview featured in this week's issue of PEOPLE, The Good Place star explains why she decided to write a book about inclusivity and how she's handling the challenges of being both Mommy and teacher to her two kids during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Five days into the stay-at-home order, Bell revealed that she ripped up the color-coded schedules she'd created for daughters Delta, 5, and Lincoln, 7, whom she shares with husband Dax Shepard.

"We wanted to figure out how to write a road map of the things that make us similar and bring us together versus our differences," says the 39-year-old actress about The World Needs More Purple People, which she wrote with friend Benjamin Hart. "There's so many more things that bring us together than apart."

The picture book celebrates the things that connect us as humans and encourages children to find their voice. It will be released by Random House Children's Books on June 2.

"I want kids to think being a purple person is cool. I'm desperate for that to happen. Because in order for a kid to strive for something, they have to think it's cool," she says. "So I hope kids take from it a desire to become purple and to teach their parents how to be purple, and to teach our friends how to be purple. I hope this creates a whole new group of people that is non-exclusionary."

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The World Needs More Purple People book cover

Both Lincoln and Delta have given her "the thumbs up" after reading the book, Bell says.

"I mean, I don't know that I want to ask them any more questions because they do have strong opinions and they do use their voice," she jokes. "I don't know that I'm ready for their editing of this book, especially since it's done."

The girls have also been vocal about Bell's homeschooling abilities. In April, the Veronica Mars actress revealed that Lincoln had written an opinion essay and was less than flattering when reviewing her teacher/mom.

"Trying to get my 1st grader to write her first opinion essay, and was quite impressed with the topic she chose as she presented her grid with opinion and evidence," Bell captioned a photo of the school project.

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"How my momy reacts to me," Lincoln's grid read in the middle, with sections emanating from the center that read, "bad reactions," "doesn't believe in me," "no patience" and "stern voice."

Despite the review, Bell tells PEOPLE that homeschooling is better now that they've torn up the girls' academic schedules.

"I said if the plan is making everyone miserable, the lesson is to pivot. Pivot, right?" she explains. "We are using a combination of a few different online teaching techniques. One where their teachers can upload videos, and they are splitting the work among the entire grade of teachers, which is kind of genius."

Now, the kids' schedule is decidedly different. "I'm trying to finish all the schoolwork if we can," she says. "Really, the priorities are: one thing for your brain, one thing for your body. That's a way better schedule than whatever color-coded nonsense I tried to instill."

Kristen Bell (L) and Dax Shepard
| Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBC/Getty

While husband Shepard, 45, helps when and wherever he can, Bell explains that she's been handling most of the at-home lessons for their kids — including math.

"I've been doing the math, shockingly. But, by the way, we're at first-grade math so I'm not bragging here, okay?" she jokes. "We're counting in tens and stuff, which I can handle. I have never been so grateful that I waited to have children, so I don't have a fifth-grader in my life right now."

The World Needs More Purple People goes on sale June 2.

For more about Kristen Bell's new children's book, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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