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While the book was originally added to “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” for aesthetic reasons, “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” complemented the film’s themes, especially in regard to communication and parenting.
Speaking about the book, Phil Lord described its inclusion in the movie as a happy accident. “It turned out to be really thematic because, you know, throughout the movie, people are asking each other to listen. Like four or five different types. So it felt like a miracle of purpose,” he told the ReelBlend Podcast.
Furthermore, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” gives us a Spider-Dad version of Peter Parker, so having him read a book about parenting makes sense. In the aforementioned interview, Chris Lord said that the book is about children and parents learning to communicate with each other, which is one of the film’s core ideas. “It’s all about parenting and the developing relationships between children and parents, and how they both need to evolve together and grow up together.”