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Clumsy Nelson

Clumsy Nelson by Serena Lane Ferrari follows an adorable yet clumsy little seal. Nelson has a terrible week, full of accidents and needing help at every turn, whether it be swimming in the ocean or moseying along the beach. His fellow aquatic friends shame him for all his mishaps, but are these mishaps his fault? Or are they created by something Nelson has no control over?

In this charmingly illustrated children’s book, we are given bits of information about the main character, Nelson, that at first seems to be causing himself grief, but soon we realize he is the story’s victim. This story is exceptionally well written and was obviously thought out to its fullest extent. It succeeded in telling children about the importance of keeping our oceans and beaches pollution-free and the entire earth. It sheds light in a way that young minds, on a fundamental level, can discuss these issues clearly and start conversations about what can be done to help keep the world clean. I feel that kids can grasp serious scenarios such as this when displayed in such a manner as this author has done.

I loved this story right off the bat. Nelson is such a cute and loveable character. You can’t help but be attached and sympathize with him when his friends are not so nice. This picture book would be a great addition to anyone’s library or classroom. Highlighting critical environmental issues and promoting self-esteem, this children’s book will entertain and educate readers for years to come.

Pages: 37 | ASIN : B08HX52P45

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There’s a Monster on my Bed 

Harvey is a master at hiding. There’s no place in his room he doesn’t like to hide. Only one thing slows Harvey down, the Monster who comes into his room every night. When the Monster falls asleep, Harvey decides tonight will be different. Tonight, he will be brave and allow the monster to see him. Is the Monster as scary as Harvey imagines, or is it no big deal? There is only one way to find out.

There’s a Monster on My Bed, written by Margit E. Macchia and illustrated by Olga Scherbakova is a new take on an age-old story. Macchia has produced a precious monster tale that turns the tables on the traditional versions. I love the fact that the story required me to back up, reread, and think more deeply about events. This is a fantastic way to inspire outside-the-box thinking in young readers–a much-needed skill in elementary classrooms and a great technique for parents to practice at home.

This picture book does a wonderful job of teaching children how to face their fears, especially when someone looks different from they do. This is a great way to show kids that you can make friends with people that look different and have different backgrounds or cultures. It is a heartwarming story of acceptance and friendship.

There’s a Monster on My Bed, written by Margit E. Macchia and illustrated by Olga Scherbakova, is a well-crafted children’s bedtime storybook that will entertain and educate children. I can see Macchia’s fun spin on the monster-under-the-bed becoming a favorite in classrooms. Scherbakova’s vibrant illustrations bring the tale to life. I recommend Macchia’s book to parents and teachers alike.

Pages: 34 | ASIN : B0BD54WYH4

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Otto: The Not-So-Little Giant

A seven-year-old boy lives in the village of Biggersville. This is a village of giants. The problem is he has stopped growing. Little Otto is much smaller than the rest of his classmates and family. He wants desperately to be bigger like everyone else to fit in. One day his best friend ends up in trouble, and it turns out that his small size is the one thing that can help her out of her predicament. Can being different be a good thing after all?

Otto: The Not-So-Little Giant is a wonderful children’s book exploring a common fear among children. They fear being different and standing out among their friends and peers. It is hard when you are different and not like the other kids in class, and Otto struggles to find where he fits in. However, the message of acceptance and love from his parents is apparent and heartwarming. He has one genuine friend who stands up for him no matter what and doesn’t care that he is much smaller than her. This shows kids that there are good people out there that will like them for who they are.

Author David Mulholland gives Otto a great personality, and, despite his desire to be bigger, he is a great kid with a big heart that wants to be helpful to his parents and friends. I feel this showcases that even if you are smaller or different, you can still make a big difference in the lives of the people around you.

Otto: The Not-So-Little Giant is a well-crafted children’s story that is perfect for early elementary students and their families. I can see this making an excellent story for out load reading to a class or in a library. It will take children on an exciting adventure and teach them the value of self-esteem and friendship.

Pages: 24 | ASIN : B0B75N33TX

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Magnificent Mocha Monty

Magnificent Mocha Monty by Holland Jordan is a heartwarming picture book about a little boy that is filled with self-confidence and self-love. He knows he is special and appreciates all his physical attributes without comparing himself to anyone else. Monty’s joy and pride are infectious when telling readers all about his magnificent parts. Children will love seeing another child, especially those with mocha skin, be proud of who they are and tell the whole world how wonderful it is to be yourself.

This emotional children’s book written for preschoolers and young elementary students is filled with positive messages. It is important to ensure all children have representation in literature so they can have someone to relate to. Monty is an amazing role model for young children that may be feeling self-conscious about looking different from friends and classmates.

The illustrations from Mosaku Ogooluwa and Illustrationpal/Sam are bright and engaging. Using the caricature style for Monty gives him a great personality and allows young readers to feel the excitement that he does with each page and declaration. Reading this story to kids will be fun as they look through the bold illustrations and point out each characteristic that Monty is proud of.

In addition to the important story in this picture book, several teaching resources are included. This makes it easy to incorporate the book into a lesson plan activity. There are also several worksheets included in the book that can be used in the classroom. The author even includes permission to copy the activities. It is clear that Holland Jordan has an educational background and knows what children and teachers need.

Magnificent Mocha Monty is an extraordinary picture book that children and teachers will love. Filled with positive thoughts and playful illustrations, this is sure to become a favorite book of children and adults.

Pages: 29 | ASIN : B0BH1DNZ2J

Faith’s Freckles: A Book to Build Self-Esteem

Faith is a young girl that has freckles, fifty-five to be exact; she has counted them all. Faith hates having freckles, no one else in her school has freckles like her, and she is constantly being teased by the other girls. They tell her that she has dirt on her face and laugh. One girl, McKenzie, however, thinks Faith’s freckles are beautiful. Through McKenzie’s kindness, Faith learns to accept that her freckles are part of who she is and learns to love that part of herself.

Faith’s Freckles by authors Shermaine Perry-Knights and Baylei Hinds-Perry is an empowering picture book for children that are self-conscious about their unique looks. In this story, Faith has freckles that no one else in her school seams to have, but the message applies to all physical differences that children are often picked on about. This story shows how much it hurts children when they are teased, emphasizing that comments about others’ looks are not funny or a game.

McKenzie stands out as an example of true friendship and how children can be friends with those they see struggling. She offers positive support and listens to what her friend says rather than brushing off her feelings or invalidating them. Teaching children how to be good friends to those that are hurting is a life skill they can carry with them.

This children’s book teaches the messages of self-love and self-acceptance. Aimed at young elementary students, this is a critical time in their lives to learn self-esteem. That makes this book ideal for classrooms and libraries. It would be a wonderful gift for a child with freckles who is afraid of being teased and made fun of. It is a heartwarming picture book that teaches children social and emotional awareness and acceptance for those that look different from themselves.

Pages: 15 | ASIN : B0B9FQP4LB

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My Mom has Superpowers

Lillian is a young girl that has a big secret; her Mom is a superhero. Or at least that is what she thinks. Her Mom seems to help her ace her test and help a neighbor find his lost dog without even leaving the house, and a patient at the hospital where she works gets well enough to go home! Lillian thinks this is some supernatural ability, but her Mom confides in her about her superpower. Lillian’s Mom prays. The power of prayer is what brings about the amazing things that happen around her.

My Mom has Superpowers by author Vera Harris is an inspirational picture book for kids and families to recognize the fantastic power prayer can have when people believe. This children’s book explains in simple terms that kids will be able to understand that prayer plays a vital role in self-confidence and helping those in need. It also highlights the need to serve others; Lillian’s Mom does not pray for things for herself; instead, she prays to help the people around her, which, in turn, brings her joy. Lillian’s Mom shows a true servant’s heart that Christian readers will recognize and appreciate.

This heartwarming story is illustrated by Ishika Sharma, the artwork is bright and engaging, and children will love following along page by page. Each illustration has depth and details that bring them to life, especially the praying hands; you can just envision the angels in the clouds receiving the prayers from below.

An additional resource at the end of this book is the included pages to write your own prayers on. This is the only thing I did not love about the book. Not all children that read this will have a mom, dad, or siblings, and having pages dedicated to those titles may be off-putting to some kids. Nevertheless, I love the idea of having a place to write your prayers; I just wish it had been generic.

My Mom has Superpowers is a beautifully written story about learning to pray and passing that superpower on to the next generation. This would make an excellent book for families and religious education classrooms to have to show the power of prayer in a way that kids can understand and appreciate.

Pages: 40 | ASIN : B0B5BD1WCJ

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I Want Children To Know They Matter

Author Interview Naomi V. Dunsen-White

Why Am I Here? A Child’s Book About Purpose follows two children as they think about what the future can hold for them. What was the inspiration for your story?

I was inspired to write this story while watching the news one day. It was during the time of the protests and sometimes violent occurrences about police violence and brutality and race issues. I thought about how disturbing and hurtful it all was and I wondered, “If I am feeling this way, what must the children be feeling, especially children of Color?” That deeply bothered me and I began to ponder what I would want them to know. I wanted them to know that they mattered. I needed them to know that regardless of their background, skin color, zip code or even the ability of their bodies – they were all important and each had a purpose and a place in this life.

The art in this book is fantastic with all the bright colors and inspiring images. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Megan Rizzo?

Megan Rizzo is such a gifted artist! She was once an art therapist, so she truly has a gift for giving life to my words. Because of the serious message, but sensitive delivery, our goal was to evoke emotion through the illustrations, and Megan absolutely delivered! She truly understood my message, my heart, and she was just as committed as I was in reaching the children. Early on, we were in agreement that attention to specific features, body variety and skin tones would be crucial to our message. We were truly partners in expressing diversity, love and inclusion for all children. We wanted the beauty of the message to be received from looking at the pictures, whether or not the child could read the words. I believe we accomplished that.

What do you hope is one thing children take away from your story?

What I hope children take away from this story is that they each have a special purpose and a unique path to follow in life, made just for them. I want them to know they are each important and they each deserve a future that is bright. We need them, each one of them, in that future.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a couple of exciting projects in the works. One is the sequel to my first children’s book, Johari The Great. I’ve received many requests for another adventure for Johari, and it’s coming. Also, after my recent trip to Tanzania, East Africa, I was inspired to write a fun children’s book that introduces them to the Swahili language. I’ve been taking lessons for several months now, and I am very excited to share. Megan will soon be enjoying the new joys of motherhood, so we will be working around her schedule, hoping for early next year. She’s illustrated both of my books and she’s so important to me. She’s worth the wait!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

“Why am I Here? A Child’s Book About Purpose” is a beautiful, inspiring picture book that invites children to consider their unique path and place in this world, leading them into a future full of possibilities.
It features stunning, full-spread illustrations that truly bring the meaningful words to life. Readers follow two children who wonder about their place in life and where the future will lead them. As they consider possibilities, the answers to the question, “Why Am I Here?” go from whimsical to meaningful as they are guided into fun considerations and positive realizations. This book welcomes pondering, hoping and dreaming!
Stressing diversity, unity and inclusion as strengths to overcome obstacles in their way, “Why Am I Here? A Child’s Book About Purpose” reminds children that regardless of their situation or surroundings, the ability of their bodies or the color of their skin, they EACH have a purpose that is BEAUTIFUL and a future that is BRIGHT. Discussion questions in the back of the book enhance comprehension and promote family discussion about the important topics of purpose, diversity, self-awareness and self-discovery!

Toby, Toby, Worry Free

Toby, the octopus, is apprehensive about riding his bike. He wants to ride it and play with his friends, but he is afraid. He is scared of falling, and that his friends might laugh at him when he does. This fear keeps him from learning to ride his bike and having fun with his friends. Toby’s fear shows by his tentacles getting all knotted up, and him not feeling well. His mom reminds him of his “can do” attitude, and together they work on building up his confidence so he can ride his bike and go on adventures with his friends.

Toby, Toby, Worry Free, written by Lucinda Grapenthin and illustrated by Kevin Gosselin, is a heartwarming picture book to help children work through fears and understand that it is okay to be scared sometimes. This well-written book helps children learn how to overcome their fears and anxiety. While reading this, the descriptions of Toby and his tentacles getting tangled up and tingling reminded me of my own children who have anxiety. I would have loved to have had this book to help them through some of these moments when they were little.

The “can do” approach is so simple that children quickly understand the concept. While more challenging to put into practice, the idea is easy to explain. Toby is portrayed in a relatable manner, both in the story and in the illustrations. This children’s book has a page for parents and caregivers at the end. It discusses the PAUSE approach to helping children with challenging behaviors, and it helps adults understand the strong emotions children experience but cannot express themselves.

Toby, Toby, Worry Free is a profoundly thoughtful children’s book that teaches kids how to deal with strong emotions and work through fears. It is also an excellent resource for parents and caregivers to better understand how to work with kids who cannot express themselves well.

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B09HCT1RVK

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